Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #100 - July 25, 2003
8:40 PM - Monday morning (the 21st), we didn't
get a very early start, due somewhat to the good time we had the
night before. Managed to wake up at a decent time, though, and
checked @ the post office for our mail drop. Unfortunately it hadn't
come in yet, even though it was only coming from Port Clinton,
PA, and had left there a week ago! Decided to wait until 10 when
all the mail would be in. While we were waiting, I gave my mom
a call - they were in Maryland and would be leaving there that
morning and heading up. We decided to meet the next day in Vernon,
NJ. Our mail drop never did show up, so we headed out for Vernon
- 12 miles away.
Got to the road around 4 or so where we'd try
to get a ride in. We were planning to stay at the church hostel
in town - we heard it was really nice. Showers, laundry internet,
etc. Andy was in front and had just crossed over the fence & onto
the road. I was still on the trail when I looked up & a car
had already pulled over! It was a lady from the church hostel & she
gave us a ride in.
The hostel was nice. Threw a load of laundry
in right away & sat down to relax a bit. I was just checking
my e-mail when all of a sudden I turned around & guess who
- my mom & dad showed up! It was quite a surprise, but I thought
maybe they'd show up that night after all. We had fun chatting
awhile and they met a few of our fellow hikers. After a bit they
left to go find a hotel for us and we finished up our laundry.
They came back for us shortly and we loaded our stuff in the car.
They definitely got a good whiff of "hiker stench" on
the ride there, we were still in our sweaty clothes, unshowered.
It was great to settle in @ the hotel & clean
up. After a while we went driving around & found a place to
eat. During dinner, a huge storm blew in. The sky was black, and
the lightning was flashing all around. We were so glad to be indoors!!!
The next couple of days were a whirlwind. Took
care of our town chores, did some shopping, a lot of driving and
even more eating. It was so much fun. My mom & dad were just
planning on staying 2 nights, but when we were ready to get our
stuff together to leave, I just felt down and did not want to head
out. The weather was also supposed to be bad again. So, they ended
up staying one more night. That day we drove up towards Middletown-Westbrookville,
actually, where Andy and I use to live. The house we rented was
actually for sale. It was neat to see the area again. Weird, though
how much we didn't remember or recognize!
Well, all good things must come to an end, so
we headed back to the trail the next morning - Thursday. We all
hung out @ the trailhead for a bit, taking pictures & doing
the "Minnesota long goodbye" thing. Then we were off
- up the trail. We turned and waved and soon were out of sight.
We all had a great time. Makes me miss home, but also reminds me
it's there waiting.
Did 18 miles that day, as I wrote about yesterday.
Today we were planning on 20, but the terrain has become pretty
difficult again. Left camp @ 8 this morning but made horrible time.
Did have a couple of Trail magic run-ins, though. Pop, apples,
Powerbars - yippee! Also, got a new pair of boots during our "time
off" and they need a bit of breaking in. Unfortunately, I
have to do it all on the Trail here.
Tonight we're camped off a road in Harriman State
Park. Not sure if "trailside" camping is allowed here,
but oh well. Didn't have energy for 20, so did about 16 instead.
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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.