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Appalachian Trail 2003 - Chelsea's Journals

Entry #17 - April 8, 2003

Oy, what a day. Left Plum Orchard Shelter in the foggy, misty morning. The weather seemed to be holding out for the most part. After 5 miles or so, we hit the GA/NC border. Our first state line! Yippee!! A trail angel had left some candy at the sign/tree as a bit of congratulations. We stopped up at the famous gnarly tree for a quick break w/Pushin Up Daisies, Hepcat, Shankadelic & a couple others. After that, the climb up Sharp Top & Courthouse Bald sucked. There don't seem to be as many switchbacks - the uphill trails are pretty steep. We stopped for a break at Muskrat Creek Shelter. As we were standing around snacking & getting tea ready, the real downpour started. There was a flash of lightning or two, and we were worried that it wasn't going to let up. We had wanted to put in a little higher mileage today. Eventually, it did stop for the most part. We continued on through the mist and fog. We didn't have a single view today. It was kind of strange, as though we were moving all day through a tunnel, hidden from the rest of the world and woods. Made it here to Standing Indian Shelter around 6. The shelter is packed, so we had to set up the tent. It's too bad all the shelters aren't like the one last night. It had the main floor and two upper levels - enough room for 14 people. This one only sleeps 7 or thereabouts, and that's all packed in. The rain is supposed to keep up for the next couple days - I'm not looking forward to it, as it can be very discouraging. I also have a blister on the back of my heel the size of a quarter. Well, I think I'll head to bed (or, rather, lay down) and pray for sun.

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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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