Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #21 - April 12, 2003
Well, our stay in town was quite enjoyable! Decided
to stay 2 nights after all, even though the weather was OK yesterday.
Of course, who knows what might have been hanging on up in the mtns.
It can seem like a totally different world. When we were down in
Franklin, it was odd looking up at the mountains and seeing the clouds
and mist and cold grayness surrounding them, while the sun is shining
down on you in the Microtel parking lot. They seem foreboding, threatening.
We did our errands in town yesterday. Walked to
the library (about a mile on the other side of town) to check email,
etc. After that we checked out a HUGE antique mall. It was so big
that the first thing Andy said was, Were not looking
at every aisle! Well, we did, but quickly. I was glad to go
there and do something normal. After that we went to
Mailboxes, etc. to mail some stuff home, and then did laundry. Everything
was so spread out in that town, it took forever to get anywhere.
Oh, I forgot that in the morning, we also went to Three Eagle Outfitters.
We bought an alcohol stove theyre super small & light made
from a pop can, but only a couple inches tall. A lot of people use
them because of the weight and convenience. We will make a decision
by the time we get to Fontana Dam on whether we want to send our heavy stove
home. Ate at Dairy Queen that night and went back to the room & had
a few beers, got our stuff organized & watched TV. I have been
obsessed with watching HGTV & all those redecorating shows. It
must be due to the fact that Im homeless. Ended up with a stomachache
just like the last town stay. Its hard for the gut to expand
after days on the trail, I guess. Ended up getting a ride to Winding
Stair Gap this morning from Fred (a Nantahala Hiking Club member)
whose name was on the shuttle list. Had a pretty good time hiking
today easier then after our last own stay. Plus, the sky was
completely clear & the sun was out a perfect day. Its
easy to be in a good mood when youre not on the verge of hypothermia.
Originally I had thought it would be a short day, but we went over
10 miles, I think. Were just past Wayah Bald now, tenting.
Had thought we could camp on the Bald, but when we got up to it,
there was a parking lot & the trail was paved! I guess its
a place to go theres an old, huge, stone lookout tower
there. Got here around 6:00. Jersey ended up pulling in around 6:30.
He had stayed @ the hotel an extra night, too. He had to go back
to Wallace Gap this morning, so he did 3 more miles than us today.
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Preparing to Hike the
Commonly used guides by A.T. thru-hikers
include the Appalachian
Trail Guides (published by the Appalachian Trail
Conference), the Appalachian
Trail Thru-Hiker's Companion, and the Appalachian
Trail Data Book. The guide series includes a guide
for each section, along with a series of trail maps. The
Thru-Hiker's Companion has helpful info on towns, shelters,
and water. The Data Book has basic distance info for road
crossings, shelters, and other features. All are excellent
tools for use during a long distance hike.