Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #34 - April 26, 2003
Decided to walk the 15 miles to get into town
yesterday, instead of staying at Deer Park Mtn Shelter, 3 miles
from Hot Springs. Saw George @ the Alpine Court Motel right away
when we got in (around 4) and he said he didnt think there
were any rooms left. We were worried, but checked & there was
so we got it for 2 nights. The place is pretty expensive for what
it is. $60/night and theres no phone and the cables
out so we only have 3 channels. Spent the afternoon checking things
out. Its a neat little town, but not much in it. A couple
of restaurants, grocery store, laundry, a nice outfitter, and,
most importantly, the Paddler Pub. Did laundry and half of it still
stinks. Went for dinner, waited an hour for our meals, and then
got a stomachache from too much food as usual. Headed to the Paddler
Pub later, where everyone was hanging out. There were a bunch of
folks playing great bluegrass and everyone was drinking and dancing.
It was a fun atmosphere, but we didnt stay too long as we
were pretty tired after many long days of hiking.
Got up today and went down to the outfitter to
look around and use the internet. After that had breakfast @ the
Smokey Mtn Diner where we had dinner the night before. Bought a
few groceries, looked @ the thrift store, and a really neat gift
shop with all kinds of beautiful arts & crafts. Unfortunately,
shopping is just not practical when your whole home is on your
back and your budgets even smaller. I suppose well
do some more browsing today, and head to the pub again tonight.
We know most everyone around, but there are still a few who are
behind us. Maybe theyll be rolling in by tomorrow?
Well also have to decide whether we want
to go to the Hot Springs or not its a bit spendy,
but cheaper w/more people. $25 to start, $5 each additional person,
Well, tomorrow well be heading into the
woods again. It is strange being a vagabond and following
a trail through the forest day after day, not really sure what
is ahead of you. Weve walked 270 miles, have 1,900 left,
and already it seems to have been a very long time. But 1 month
done and 5 to go does seem like progress.
A person would think with all this time on your
hands, doing nothing but walking, that you would have time to figure
out some grand master plan for yourself and your life. It really
doesnt work that way, though. Its almost like your
mind regresses, back to the simplest, most basic functions. It
just doesnt feel the need to pore over the details of life
in the real world. All that matters boils down to food,
water, walking, shelter and sleep.
The most wonderful of feelings is the anticipation
of something great.
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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.