Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
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
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.