Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #78 - June 21, 2003
8:55 PM - Definitely not a good day for naked
hiking. Yes, that's right - June 21st is the traditional day to
hike naked! Not that we probably would have anyway, but it was
only about 45 degrees we were up having breakfast.
Was quite cold - even the hiking wasn't warming
us up much. Didn't see much wildlife, but it was probably the most
interesting day of terrain in the Park. When we stopped for lunch,
we heard about a guy who had stolen a car (Mercedes SUV) and drove
it off a cliff in the Park. A ranger asked us if we had seen anyone
suspicious, or who seemed like they didn't belong. Andy & I
each remembered seeing a different person, but couldn't figure
out if we were talking about the same guy or what. Confusing, but
we ended up giving the Ranger a really messed-up description. A
mile or two after lunch, we came across the spot where the SUV
had gone over. It was lying upside down on the side of the mtn.
There was a bunch of "Crime Scene - Do Not Cross" tape
over the Trail. But, what were going to do - skip a section? Hell
no, and no one was around, so we went through. We fooled around
and took a picture. After we came out the other side, a different
park person came walking down the hill, and asked us again if we'd
seen anyone. But this time Andy & I realized we were talking
about 2 different people, but one of them was definitely more suspicious,
so we told her all about it.
Rest of the hike was OK. Stopped @ the store
@ Thornton Gap for a pop & some candy & to use the restroom.
Ooops, forgot the worst/best part of the day. The Trail down to
the Gap was quite rocky. Was starting to get tired and stumbly.
Hit a rock going full speed. I do this a hundred times a day, but
always catch myself with my poles. Was not so lucky this time.
Went down headfirst with all kinds of momentum. Hit my knee pretty
good, and my elbow. I was pretty shaken up, but am eternally grateful
for not hitting my face on the big rock on the side of the Trail.
I am always worried that I'm going to fall and knock out my teeth
or something. Heard that happened to someone this year.
Anyway, I just layed there like a beached whale
and Andy had to take my pack off & help me up. My knee's kind
of sore & stiff tonight, but I think it will be fine.
Oh - did I mention - it RAINED today? Not too
bad, though. I think I actually believe the weather report now
- supposed to clear up tomorrow afternoon & be nice for days
after that! At Pass Mtn Hut tonight. There are a million people
here, but luckily we were early enough to get a spot in the shelter.
Will try to do 20+ tomorrow to stay ahead of schedule.
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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.