Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #47 - May 12, 2003
OK, Mellow Yellow and Blink Blink forced us to
go the 26 miles - well, not quite. Got up late Sunday, around 7:30
or 8, and headed out about 9. About 15 minutes into it, it started
raining. A bit later it was pouring, and we finally decided to
get our raingear on (after we were soaked). It was good to hike
in the rain, though - nice and cool after such hot & humid
weather. Made it 8 miles to the first shelter by noon, and at that
point figured we should try for the whole 26 miles into Damascus.
Somehow we made it to Abingdon Gap Shelter (another 8 miles) by
3:00. We were quite impressed with ourselves, so at 4:00, we began
the last 10 miles into town. Made it in before 7:30, and were able
to enjoy the FREE spaghetti dinner hosted by Sheepstuff, another
thru-hiker. We just made it in time, and were extremely glad to
chow down. The dinner was at the Methodist Church and we ended
up going right across the alley then to "The Place," a
hostel owned by the church. It's a big house with bunk rooms, a
kitchen, bathrooms and common rooms that are available for hikers & bikers
(bicyclists). There is no "constant" caretaker, but a
guy who checks in daily. We have our tent set up on the lawn, along
with others. Took showers after dinner, and then went to the Old
Mill for a few beers.
This morning, Andy woke up feeling ill. Around
10 or 11, I convinced him to walk up to the laundromat & the
Cowboy Gas Station/Deli for breakfast. I ordered the Hiker's Special
breakfast, he had toast. He ended up heading back shortly after,
and then rested in the tent all day. He seems to have some kind
of stomach flu. While he slept, I did some errands during the day
- groceries, library, etc. I even did a couple of "chores" here
at The Place - took out garbage & cleaned the kitchen a bit.
This evening we both attempted to go & eat
@ The Sidetrack Cafe, but Andy had to leave soon after ordering.
I stayed a bit longer & read the paper. Seems there are people
starting to show up for the festivities. I'm not sure whether we'll
be able to get on the trail tomorrow or not.
Hopefully, Andy will be feeling ok...?
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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.