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Appalachian Trail 2003 - Chelsea's Journals

Entry #151 - September 28, 2003

7:10 PM - Another day of misery! Were planning 18 or 19 miles - over Whitecap Mtn. & to the third shelter. Of course the rain started early in the day. Actually, we left at 7 and it was raining shortly after. Whitecap was totally insane. We got to the open summit just behind Sherpa, and Moonshadow was right after us. We stood in the fog for a couple of seconds before hiking on as fast as the gusts would allow. Fortunately we weren't exposed for too long, because it was freezing!! Wouldn't take long to become hypothermic up there.

Hiked another mile & a half down to break at the shelter. Poured the water out of our boots, wrung out our socks, and ate dry ramen for lunch. Decided we must hike on. In 4 miles we came to a sign for the next shelter. Decided not to take the side trail down & move on. However, the AT led straight to it anyway, so we stopped in. Found a big nice new shelter with only Morph & Moonshadow in for the night. Since the rain was not letting up & we knew the next shelter would be full, we decided to stay. Even though it was only 1:00. Oh well.

It poured the rest of the day anyway, so we didn't care so much about just doing a short day. Should still be only 5 more days until we're done done done. Of course who knows what will happen when we get up to Katahdin. If the weather's bad, they won't let us go up. We could be stuck there waiting forever. Even with only 5 days left, this is like torture! Please let the sun come out tomorrow. Please don't let us get swept away fording the stream in the morning!

I can't wait to:

  • Eat food that requires refrigeration.
  • Eat food that doesn't require boiling water.
  • Change my clothes every day.
  • Have a stationary home, bed, & kitchen that doesn't have to be packed up & moved every day.
  • Be able to drive places.
  • Have a flush toilet & running water.
  • Wear deodorant & take a shower every day.
  • Not have to worry about mice chewing on my head as I sleep.
  • Not have to carry around a week's worth of garbage.
  • Not have to hitchhike.
  • Not have to carry all my belongings in Ziplocs.
  • Be able to go inside when it rains.
  • Stay up past dark. (At least past 7:00 PM!)
  • Not carry my own TP around everywhere I go - new AND used!

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Rain on the Appalachian Trail

I have yet to do an actual count, but when we hiked the A.T., it seemed to rain more than not. Well, not just rain, but rain, snow, fog, sleet, hail. Whatever could fall from the sky, did, and far too often. On warm days, we were actually better off not to wear any rain gear at all. The sprinkles and even heavy rains could be refreshing at times during our hike. Plus, sweating under your rain gear got you more soaked than going without. But, eventually you may get tired of the pitter patter of rain on your flesh, or worse, temps could be cold enough where hypothermia seems like a real possibility. It's best to carry some sort of rain gear. In the spring and fall, a heavier jacket is wisest. In summer, something lighter will do for the times when the day's over, you're making dinner, and just plain want to avoid getting wet.

Moosejaw has a great selection of rain gear to peruse. Click here to view! Remember to look for something that is both waterproof AND BREATHABLE. We picked up lightweight rainjackets in Damascus that unfortunately, were not, and we still haven't gotten the hiker stench out of them. I'm not sure why we don't just toss them - maybe it's nostalgia.

Related Links:

Hiking or Camping in the Rain
Leave No Trace
More about Whitecap Mountain

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