Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #42 - May 5, 2003
7:45 PM Didnt make it to Elk Park
today. We were very cozy @ the Roan Mtn Shelter and woke to rain
in the morning. Stayed in our bags until about 9:00 A very
late morning! Everyone was pretty lazy. Hepcat was sick, though I
guess he was puking, etc. Hes not sure what it was from maybe
Finally got going around 10, and the weather
actually didnt seem too bad, especially for being up on Roan.
Walked down, down, down in a light drizzle. After an hour or so
we got to Carver Gap. Walked up onto the road, and suddenly the
wind, fog, rain and sleet were pounding us! We thought about hitching
a ride to town. Waited about 5 minutes, but no cars. So, we continued
up the other side. Little did we know, we were headed into a couple
of miles of balds. Definitely not a place to be in bad weather!
The wind was whipping across so hard, we couldnt see where
we were going. I could hardly stay on the trail & was being
blown all over. The fog was racing across the trail and the rain,
wind, sleet & hail was biting through our jackets. We kept
going up, up, up into white nothingness. I was really getting worried,
wondering how long wed be exposed, and praying that it didnt
start lightning. At one point Andy yelled something from behind.
Our raincovers had flown from our packs but he caught them.
Luckily, we made it over the balds without major
incident. A few miles later we made it here, to Overmountain Shelter.
Its an old red barn, made into a shelter. There is a covered
area downstairs and the whole upstairs is a big loft with room
for probably 30 people. There are at least 20 here now. A bunch
of people stayed here from last night because of the weather. We
got in around 1:00, wondered if we should go on, but everyone said
the weather would be horrible. So we decided to stay. We should
have gone on, though, I think. Now we are in a huge mob again,
and we were hoping to get into the hotel in Elk Park. Radar showed
up here and said he heard the hotel might be closed. I really hope
its open and that we can get a room. The weathers supposed
to be bad again tomorrow, but I really hope the fierce stuff goes
We are about out of food just had 2 poptarts & 2
candy bars left for tomorrow. Kodiak & Sassy showed up late & had
Little Debbies Yippee! Then Sidewinder scrounged up some
snacks from everyone for us Thank you! We will make it to
town in a flash, I hope.
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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.