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Appalachian Trail 2003 - Chelsea's Journals

Entry #24 - April 15, 2003

We survived the night (rock goblins) only to almost keel over on our 13-mile hike today. First there was the climb up THE REST of Swim Bald (3 more miles). After that it was Cheoah Bald which just about did us in. Then it was a fairly easy 6 miles, until we got to Sweetwater Gap. It was the most hellish section under a mile that we’ve come across yet. Steep, long, and REALLY Steep. Hard on the body, but mentally I was taking it quite well. Listened to music while hiking today for the first time – it seems to keep you going. Or at least helps out. After that it was just a mile or so to the shelter. We’re sleeping in tonight with Julie, Crazy K & Mississippi Mule. Tomorrow we’ll be at Fontana Dam – way ahead of schedule. We might have to wait a couple days for our packages.

Some other notes – there are a lot of wildflowers (small ones) popping up along the trail. Everything is still very brown, though. The trees at lower elevations are starting to bud, but not on top of the mtns yet.

***Note to self – Awesome view up Sweetwater today. Mtns in distance fade up from steel blue gray up to the blue of the sky. Green dots of budding trees behind long straight dark trunks. (Editor Earl here – I included this because it is a great visual.)

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Preparing to Hike the Appalachian Trail?

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.




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