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Appalachian Trail 2003 - Chelsea's Journals

Entry #84 - July 2, 2003

9:10 PM - Another late start this morning - 9 AM. Weren't too worried about it (even though we were planning a 20 mile day) since the profile looked pretty easy.

Did 10 miles and we were at Caledonia State Park. Loser had mentioned a while ago he might be there with Trail magic, but we didn't find anything. Didn't care anyway, since they had a snack bar at the pool. Should've taken a dip (fee $2.50) and maybe a shower, but we had hamburgers & fries instead. Were still hungry, so hiked 2.5 miles up to the next shelter & had our own lunch. That shelter - Quarry Gap - was very nice. Twin shelters with a covered picnic table in between, a rock-lined stream in front, hanging flower baskets and solar lights at the water & up to the privy! Almost wish we could have stayed, but wanted to do more miles. Did another 7 or 8 to Birch Run Shelter. To our surprise, we found a brand-new shelter here - the floor's so nice & polished we almost felt we shouldn't wear even our sandals inside. But, our biggest surprise was when - believe it or not - Kodiak showed up! Last we knew, he and Sassy were a week or more ahead of us! Hadn't seen them since Damascus. Guess they took a bunch of time off, and Sassy decided to get off the Trail, so Kodiak's hiking alone now. So many people have decided to end their hikes. There have been a few times when I've almost considered it, but I'm glad I'm still here. Mostly because I just want the satisfaction of starting something and seeing it through to the end - actually finishing something. I don't want it to be just another incomplete project.

Tomorrow it's on to Pine Grove for "lunch." It's the half-gallon challenge. We're supposed to eat a half-gallon of ice cream to mark the halfway point of our hike! I think I'll just try for a couple of pints. Hope there's a good selection. Let's see...maybe strawberry, mint chocolate chip, cookies & cream - who knows...

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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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