Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
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.