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Fwd: Gutsy's trail update
Here is the update from Gutsy's husband Dan. Just got it today as Dan has
been very busy and unable to provide updates any earlier. Gutsy was in
Pearisburg on Friday and is now headed toward Troutville, Va. She will be
visting with Bill and Laurie Foot on the 20th and will be in the AOL
Backpacker Chatroom on the 20th at 10:00 eastern with Frank Logue. If you
have AOL, come join her. Will provide further updates when Dan sends them to
>May 6, 1996
>Trail Update from just north of I-81 in Virginia. Ill send more soon.
> Sorry Im so far behind! Dan.
>Total days: 39
>Total miles: 541
>Day 34 Monday, April 29 0 miles
>Today in Damascus, VA. I received mail from Dan, Harry, Paul, Josh, and
>Jeanette Jackson (brownies). Im really enjoying my town stays. The floors
>at the hostel were dirty, so I cleaned them today. Thur hikers Zamboni,
>Two-Step, Dancing Bear, Screaming Knee, Swift Step, and Cajun C invited me to
>stay for a cookout. I dont have to hurry this week because of my scheduled
>meeting with Dan Saturday, 75 miles from here. We had the cookout in the
>local park, which has a real trail shelter which was moved there. Also
>attending were Pins and Islander, an older couple.
>Day 35 Tuesday, May 30 8 miles
>It has been cold in the mornings--below freezing. I left Damascus at 8 a.m.
>and stopped for breakfast at 10. After crossing Whitetop Mtn. I stopped at 2
>p.m. for lunch and to dry my sleeping bag. I set the hourly chime on my
>watch to remind me to take a drink of water because I havent been drinking
>enough. Its cold and windy, and Im trying to write with gloves on. Im
>camping at the pond (somewhere before Saunders Shelter). Im now using my
>20-degree sleeping bag, and bought a smaller compression bag for it in
>Damascus so itll fit in my pack. The others hikers here tonight are
>Godfather, Turtle, Screaming Knee, Cajun C, Dancing Bear, Sweift Step,
>Zamboni, and Two Step. Someone cooked mushrooms but I was afraid of getting
>poisoned so I didnt eat any.
>Day 36 Wednesday May 1 20 miles
>Im a bondfide thru hiker now--I picked up a whole almond from off the trail
>and ate it! (couldnt help myself). Some section hiking girls at Lost Mtn.
>Shelter gave me tabouli and takina (sp?) on pita bread. Arrived at Thomas
>Knob Shelter at 7 p.m. Made macaroni and cheese (first on my hike) for
>supper and added dehydrated peas that someone gave me. Very tasty! I
>realized how much processed sugar Im consuming and am trying to eliminate it
>from my diet. I also find that Im retaining fluid while in towns, so Im
>going to eat better in town. Now Ill have to see if I can keep my
>resolutions. There are wild ponies in the area, and the register had entries
>of people who saw them. They probably beg for food.
>Day 37 Thursday, May 2 21.3 miles
>I left Thomas Knob Shelter at 7:30 a.m. A group of wild ponies were resting
>and didnt move when I came by. The Grayson Highlands area was absolutely
>beautiful. I enjoyed that area so much. I ate lunch at noon at Old Orchard
>Shelter. At Raccoon Branch Shelter with my tonight are 3 girls--Einstein,
>Fish, and Catapult. Theyre into fancy cooking and shared some pizza with
>me. I didnt mind. Fish is section hiking and is having trouble with
>blisters. I loaned her my sneakers and shell mail them to Pickens, SC for
>Day 38 Friday, May 3 20 miles
>Left Raccoon Branch Shelter at 7 a.m. and reached Trimpi Shelter, 2 1/2 miles
>away, at 8 a.m. The terrain most of the day was relatively easy--level and
>not too rocky, up to Mt. Rogers visitor center. I called Dan from the
>visitors center and told him to bring almonds, 3/4 Ridgerest, dental floss,
>and the smallest radio he can find. At night its good company, but the
>signal fades in and out while hiking. He brought me a radio last week but
>its having problems.
>Im happy with my solo status--I like the independence and dont plan to find
>anyone to hike with. Sometimes I get lonely. I sing while hiking, but once
>in awhile its nice to hear another voice.
>No one was around when I reached this shelter, so I propped up a water
>carrier on a fallen tree and took a shower--cold, but refreshing. Its nice
>to have warm weather.
>Day 39 Saturday, May 4 18 miles
>Im at the truck stop near Atkins and I-81 right now waiting for Dan. He
>should be here soon. The 4 1/2 miles from Chatfield Shelter was fairly easy
>and mostly downhill. Dan arrived at 12:30 with Brad and Jack, who will be
>hiking with me next week. They parked their cars in Pearisburg this morning
>and Dan brought them back here. We put our backpacks in the car and started
>hiking north on the AT, while Dan drove to where the AT crosses hwy 42, 11
>miles north. He parked there and hiked in and met us on Walker Mtn. On top
>of the Mtn. we found a ziplock bag full of hair. I picked it up and almost
>carried it out to find who it belonged to. An hour later we found three
>hikers taking a break under a tree and one said he had just cut his hair. He
>didnt even realize he had lost the ziplock bag until we mentioned it.
>After reaching the car we drove in to Wytheville for supper at Pizza Hut and
>I got ribbed for wanting to get a real meal in a real town. When we got back
>to the trail it was dark, and we hiked by flashlight to Knot Maul Branch
>Shelter, 2 miles in. There were 6 of us in all at the shelter. It was so
>warm that Dan and I did not use the tent. We put the sleeping pads on a
>ground cloth, and spread one sleeping bag over us. The moon came up big and
>bright around 11 p.m.