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Here is Dan's update on Gutsy.
>April 28, 1996 Trail Update from Damascus, VA
>Total days: 33
>Total miles: 451.4
>Dan writing: Last Wednesday I sent you some of this information after Gail
>called me Wed. from Roan Mtn., TN.
>Gail pushed hard this week, covering 137 miles in 7 days (Sams Gap to
>Damascus). She feels like she has been under pressure to do lots of miles,
>and says shes ready for a slow pace this week. So she plans to do only 75
>miles in the next 6 days.
>Heres more from Gutsys journal, which she gave me in Damascus today:
>Day 26 Sunday, April 21 17.5 miles
>My old Cresta hiking boots wore out so I switched to my new Vasque boots, and
>didnt have any trouble. But Im carrying sneakers just in case. My pack is
>heavier now because of taking on supplies, but I did fine. The threatening
>thunderstorms held off. Reached No Business Knob Shelter after 7 p.m. and
>had Rice-a-Roni someone gave me. In the shelter with me were Home Brew,
>Hiker X, Nowhere Man, and Blue Sky. Tenting nearby were Little Bear and Chef
>Day 27 Monday, April 22 16.5 miles
>Some hard climbing today. When I got to the top of Beauty Spot I was
>completely fried. I lay down on my rain poncho to regain my strength, but
>never did. So I spread my tarp on the ground and sleeping bag there--never
>could get up. I didnt eat or drink anything that evening. I was too
>exhausted to fetch water.
>Day 28 Tuesday, April 23 19.7 miles
>Climbing Roan Mtn. was a killer. It was steep and rocky, plus it was rainy
>and very windy and cold (20 degrees). I stayed in Roan High Knob Shelter.
>Day 29 Wednesday, April 24 13.8 miles
>The views were beautiful on both balds today (breathtaking, in more ways that
>one). Hiked some today with Wanger, who was finishing up the last stretch he
>needed to complete his last years through hike. I was looking forward to
>getting cleaned up in the town of Roan Mtn., but the hostel was closed and I
>was very disappointed. After doing laundry, and eating lunch and supper
>(hamburgers, bananas, candy bar, and apple juice, I headed back to Apple
>House Shelter for the night and was the only one there. The locals are not
>very friendly to hikers so Ill be glad to leave this area. On a fence by
>the trail was a sign: Beware of shotgun, and I saw remnants of old stills
>Day 30 Thursday, April 25 21.8 miles
>For breakfast I had oatmeal, banana, and brownies (from Wanger). At that
>stop I met Big Boy. Later I met B.J., Cruisin Cajun, Snowshoe along the
>Enjoyed the wonderful frangrance of thick pine needles on the ground. I
>almost stepped on a copperhead. Fortunately, it was too cold for it to move
>quickly. On top of one of the mountains was an old rickety fire tower.
>At Laurel Falls Shelter tonight are Lazy, Top Hay, and Walking Man. The
>blue-blazed spur trail to the shelter is something else--very narrow, with a
>steep drop on the side. I showered under a small waterfall on a side trail
>not far from the shelter (brrr). For supper I enjoyed black-eyed peas, brown
>rice, cornbread, and brownies.
>Day 31 Friday, April 26 21.7 miles
>Laurel Fork Shelter to Iron Mountain Shelter. No journal entry; too tired.
>Day 32 Saturday, April 27 26.1 miles
>Iron Mountain Shelter to The Place Hostel in Damascus, VA. Reached town at
>6:30 p.m. and called Dan right away. He said he's coming tomorrow. Not much
>of an entry; Im fried.
>Day 33 Sunday, April 28 0 miles
>Damascus, VA is a nice town that welcomes thru hikers. The trail goes
>through the town for about a mile, and trail blazes can be seen on utility
>poles. Trail Days is a festive event held here every May. I went to church
>this morning. Harry, from the Greenville hiking club, stopped by briefly.
> Dan brought Josh, Paul, and Christy (our dog), and we went to Qunceys for
>pizza at lunch time. Dan brought some supplies from home, and I repacked my
>backpack. I switched to the warmer sleeping bag, and sent a pair of socks
>home. He brought grapefruit, bananas, yogurt, butter, sunflower seeds,
>powdered milk, cooked hamburger meat (which Ill use tonight), and other
>stuff from the food bag. I sorted through the food and kept some and sent
>some back. Uncle Frank sent some good dehydrated backpacking food. Ill
>leave Damascus tomorrow after checking for mail at the post office.