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Fwd: Gutsy

Here is Dan's update on Gutsy.

Pete Fornof

>April 28, 1996     Trail Update from Damascus, VA
>Total days:  33
>Total miles:  451.4
>Dear Friends,
>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
>near streams.
>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.