Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #59 - May 28, 2003
8:40 AM - Had a hard time sleeping @ Woodshole,
because I kept waking up in anticipation of the breakfast bell
- it was like I was waiting for Christmas morning, ha ha! It sure
was a comfortable night's sleep, though. The bunkhouse loft had
mattresses laid out (covered in plastic, of course) and they sure
7 AM came and we heard the clanging of the bell.
At 7:30 it rang again and we all headed inside. Tillie had us all
sit down at the table (after saying Grace, of course) and she and
her granddaughter & grandd's friend brought out the food. We
had eggs, sausage, grits, and biscuits & gravy. Up until this
point I had managed to avoid trying grits, but of course we had
to clean our plates here. I don't think I'll be eating them ever
again. The rest was great, though, and we had all the biscuits
we could eat. We all talked and Tillie told us some stories over
the next hours or so. It was a wonderful time.
Afterwards we gathered our stuff and started
the 10 miles into town. The hike was fairly easy and uneventful.
It rained for awhile, of course, just like always, it seems. Didn't
care, though, since we were headed into town! We got to the overlode
areas before descending, into Pearisburg, and the fog had rolled
in so we weren't able to see much. It was a couple of slick, muddy
miles down, then. Steep, too - we practically skiied(?) the whole
way down. Luckily, I only fell once, ha ha!
Once we got down to the beginning of town, I
was looking for landmarks, according to the map in my "Companion" book.
From what I could tell, we had to cross over the river, etc. before
getting to the motel.
We began crossing roads and heading into the
woods over & over, wondering when the hell we were going to
get to town. Crossed the river, an industrial place, a highway
and then went into the woods again. It was probably almost a mile
and we were wondering what was going on! Andy was way ahead of
me, and I started yelling for him to stop. I heard him talking,
then, up ahead. He had run into Odyssey & Fox, who were breaking
on the Trail. Apparently, we were supposed to turn into town way
back when we crossed the first road!!! I looked at the map in the
book again, and realized that it showed "north" pointing
to the left, not up. ARGGGHH! What could we do, but turn around
and start walking. Took us about 45 minutes to get back to the
Rendevous Motel where we had planned on staying. It was full. We
then had to walk another half mile into town to find a place to
stay. Frustrating for all the walking, but now we're up by everything
and don't have to walk that half mile just to get to the store
or post office.
Relaxed some and ate @ Pizza Hut with Loser,
Woods, Mothman and Bilgy.
Was able to talk to my mom & dad last night.
They were in Duluth in preparation for his surgery today. It's
just after 8 there now, so everything should be underway. I hope
someone calls as soon as possible this afternoon to let me know
7:45 PM - A lazy day in town. Went shopping and
did laundry. We went a bit overboard @ the grocery store, I think.
We have 7-plus days of food spread out and covering the entire
bed. I am wondering how we're going to fit it all in our packs,
much less carry it. There must be 5 lbs of Pop-Tarts alone. Sounds
like rain tomorrow, so I'm sure we won't be too excited about getting
on the Trail!
Heard from Mom and it sounds like everything
went pretty well at the hospital today. Dad will be in Intensive
Care overnight, I think, but all should be OK. Wish I could've
been home to be with him and everyone - I feel very out of touch
with reality out here. It's a strange way.
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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.