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Appalachian Trail 2003 - Chelsea's Journals

Entry #45 - May 9, 2003

10:00 PM - Rough night at Moreland Gap Shelter last night. Around 2:30 AM I woke up and heard thunder rumbling in the distance. It was almost constant. I opened my eyes and the air was flickering from light to dark nonstop. Layed there for a while, listening to a crazy owl hooting close. After a bit the owl stopped, and the thunder seemed to be getting closer. Around 3, we suddenly heard a huge rushing coming towards us & the skies let loose. The wind was going nuts and I was worried a tree might fall on us, since we were in our tent. It hailed for a bit, and then rained. The lightning came close and the thunder boomed. God, do I hate thunderstorms. I hid in my bag and it passed us in less than an hour, I think. The ironic part was that everyone in the shelter got soaked, because the storm came in from the direction of the open side.

Today went well, though. Hiked about 6 miles to Dennis Cove Road where we were shuttled over to Laurel Creek Lodge. They have a hostel, grill, store, etc. - a nice place. Would have stayed if we hadn't just been in town. Instead we just ate - Cheeseburgers, 2 pops each, and 2 ice cream bars each. Got back on the trail then around 1:00. Had a fun time going by Laurel Falls and the area near it. When we got to Wautuga Lake about 7 miles later, we went for a swim at the picnic area. The water was high, but there were quite a few others swimming, too. It was VERY cold, but refreshing; the day was so hot, humid and sweaty.

Now we're at the Wautuga Lake Shelter. Sleeping in tonight as tent space is limited. There's 3 other guys in here with us - section hikers from Chicago. A few others are tenting. Another 15 miles tomorrow.

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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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