Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #108 - August 3, 2003
7:50 PM - In the tent again...relish the stink,
the clamminess, the pruned feet and sweat soaked shirt as I lay
back on my damp, smelly sleeping bag. Relish the wet hair, the
greasy skin, the reeking clothes and pack, the miniature tent,
the sound of the rain pattering constant, constant, constant. Enjoy
it while lasts - must remember to enjoy it while it lasts.
A short hike into Salisbury this morning. Dry,
too. The thunder rumbled last night, but nothing ever materialized
- nice & calm. Except we could hear a band or just loud music,
playing down in the valley. Fell asleep imagining a street dance
or festival going on below, with eating and drinking and dancing
Once in town we bought our groceries and some
junk food for breakfast. Another yuppie town with rich folk milling
about. Before we left, Andy decided to call Semi - our old hiking
friend from back in Georgia. I think he made it through the Smokies
before he got off. Anyway, we remembered he lives in CT. We got
a hold of him & he was glad to hear from us! He's actually
going to come pick us up tomorrow in Great Barrington, MA. It should
be a nice diversion.
Anyway, left town around 1:00 or so and hiked
up to the Brassie Brook Lean-To for a break. We found Ace there
relaxing in his hammock. The skies were looking like rain, so he
decided to wait it out. We sat there for 2 hours, waiting on the
weather. It rained some, thundered and saw a flash of lightning
or two, but it never seemed close or severe.
Finally decided to move on - had to do more miles
today in order to reach town tomorrow. The only thing was, we had
a climb over Bear Mtn ahead of us, with what we'd read was a steep,
rocky, wicked descent after.
Wouldn't you know, we got a mile down the trail
and the thunder & lightning were back. This was not a mountain
to be on in a storm. At the top there were bare rock stretches,
and low, shrubby growth...God, I hate lightning. We raced over
the top, and I pretty much dove to the ground with every flash
or crash. Andy was telling me to calm down, but I couldn't help
it. It is my worst fear in nature! After the peak came the climb
down. What a horrible place to be in the rain, let alone a storm.
The rocks were very slick. Some I had to sit down on to lower myself
far enough. Too vertical for me.
But, we made it down. Andy said I conquered my
fear, but I told him I didn't think so, cause I'm still scared.
He said I won that battle, anyway. We ate at Sages Ravine Campsite.
The rain continues. Hopefully it will let up by morning.
Andy just came in, took his socks off and I told
him they smell like garlic bread...How odd...
Oh yeah, we're in MA now...
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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.