Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #98 - July 19, 2003
9:25 PM - Not sure what happened, but we slept
until 8:00. That's basically 12 hours of sleep! Didn't get going
until almost 10:00.
It was only about 4 miles until our first break,
though. A bakery right off the trail. We had to resupply there,
too, and unfortunately they didn't have much of a selection. Mac & cheese & some
power bars & crackers. Yech! Gave my mom a call while we were
there just to make sure their phone was working ok, so that we
can contact them on Tuesday. Also ended up having a cheeseburger
@ a grill down the way. Really shouldn't have, but oh well. Andy
is getting very concerned that he's not eating enough.
Left around 1:00 with 12 more miles planned.
Somewhere around 7 or 8, I was bonking. Sometimes you just feel
like the last thing you want to do is hike. There are still miles
left to your destination, you're thirsty, your feet hurt, and you're
stubbing your toes on every damn rock on the trail. Finally we
arrived at a shelter a few miles from our planned stop. There was
some Trail magic in the bear box. Drink mix for our water and candy.
We had also found some at the shelter last night. It was all from
a guy named Desperado. Things were looking up a bit. Took the trail
down to the road where there was supposed to be water. There was
a parking lot, but no stream or anything. We were wondering what
to do, when we saw a bunch of water jugs just up the trail. Someone
had been bringing them out. Found one with about a liter left and
filled up. Just then a guy came down to get the jugs & refill
them. He asked if we'd heard of Desperado. We told him we had,
and he said we were about to meet him! We walked back to the parking
lot, and it was him, there to fill up the jugs for thru-hikers.
The back of his Explorer was filled with goodies, and he immediately
got us something to drink and some cookies. After we snacked, he
went through a whole host of info about the Trail-towns we'd be
coming to, where the best places to stay are, etc. What a nice
guy - a professional Trail Angel, I guess! He said he's been doing
it for 30+ years!
Finally moved on around 7, feeling much better.
Just an hour ago, I had been down in the dumps and I actually said
to myself that the only good thing about NJ was Desperado and his
Trail Magic and then we meet him. Strange how things happen.
From there it was just under 3 miles to the Rutherford
Shelter and we booked, since I am not too fond of hiking in dwindling
light. Got to the shelter sign just before 8, and we could see
it was straight down to the ridge. Decided there was no way we
were hiking down (.4 miles besides) and made the decision to go
on. If worse came to worse, it was just 3 more miles to water & the
Ended up finding a spot not much further. We
are on an awesome rock ridge, and can see forever off of it, to
the East. We can see New York City, we think, and there are a bunch
of fireworks going off all over. We're going to try to get up for
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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.