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Fwd: Gutsy's trail update

Here is another Gutsy Trail update. 


>Todays mail brought Gails journal entries through May 15.  She phoned this
>morning from highway 714 and left a message on the answering machine.  Shes
>on schedule for tomorrows scheduled meeting with Bill and Laurie Foot, and
>will spend a day at their home in Lynchburg.
>Gail will be checking mail Thursday, May 23 at the following address:
>                      Gail Gutsy Johnson
>                      General Delivery
>                      Tyro, VA  22976
>               and at Waynesboro, VA  22980 the next day.
>On Monday, May 20, she plans to log on to the America OnLine Backpackers
>Magazine long-distance hiking chat session at 10 p.m.  You might want to show
>up to listen in or to say hi.  She will use her AT1996 screen name, and I
>will be using my own screen name, DanDJJ.  To get there, on America OnLine:
>     1. Use keyword backpacker.
>     2. Select Back Talk symbol, upper left corner.
>     3. Select BACKPACKER LIVE -Chat & Auditoriums.
>     4. Select Backpacker Campfire Chat.
>Through Friday, May 17, 1996--
>Total days:  52
>Total miles:  729
>Day 46  Saturday, May 11  23 miles
>I left Rendezvous Motel in Pearisburg at 5:50 a.m. and headed north on the
>AT.  I left early because Dan was going to slackpack me 20 miles and he
>didnt want to get home too late.  The trail through Pearisburg was hard to
>find, and at one point I ended up in an abandoned cemetery.  After the New
>River bridge the trail was a slow uphill.  I was a bit worried that I was
>going too slowly, but when I met Dan he said I was right on schedule.  Dan
>picked up my mail at the post office before driving ahead on VA hwy 635 to
>where it crosses the AT.  He hiked in about 5 miles and met me near the
>junction of the Allegheny Trail with the AT, on Pine Swamp Ridge.  I I had
>some steep climbs, and had been hiking fast without any stops, so I was ready
>for a break.  We took a break for a snack before heading down to the car.  At
>Pine Branch Swamp Shelter were three thru hikers who had stopped for lunch.
> About 2 miles from the car, the rain started.  We stopped under some
>hemlocks and huddled cozily under Dans poncho for about 30 minutes during
>the worst of the rain and thunder.  When we got to the car I was soaked--Dan
>used the poncho because he was wearing cotton, and I was wearing fast-drying
>synthetics.  At the car we used the car heater to help dry out, and had lunch
>(liverwurst from Uncle Frank and baked goodies from Janette Jackson).  Then I
>repacked my backpack and headed to Bailey Gap Shelter for night, another .8
>miles north.  At the shelter were The Apostles (Matthew, Mark, and John),
>Shaggy, and Six Pack, all under 21.
>Day 47  Sunday, May 12  14 miles
>Bailey Gap Shelter to Laurel Creek Shelter.  No journal entry, but here some
>points she passed on that stretch:  VA hwy 613, Wind Rock, Campsites/spring,
>War Spur Shelter, Johns Creek Valley/USFS 156, stream, Rocky Gap/VA 601.
>Day 48  Monday, May 13  22 miles
>Laurel Creek Shelter to Pickle Branch Shelter
>Imagine green alpine pastures dotted with cows, blue skies and Joy, by
>Beethoven playing on the radio.  It was a wonderful combination as I started
>out this morning.  Granted, it was hard to get out of bed because it was 29
>degrees and Im such a baby about cold weather.  But I knew I had over 20
>miles to do I hit the trail by 7 a.m.  Since it was cold I skipped breakfast,
>planning to eat later when it warmed up.  As it turned out, I didnt eat
>until lunch at Niday Shelter because I wasnt able to find water until then.
> I was going to heat the water (I drink hot water when its cold) when I
>discovered that my stove has a leak in the gas line.  So now Im on the trail
>with no stove...great.  Two young section hikers said I could use their stove
>at the shelter.  I arrived there first and Chicken John let me use his stove,
>so I was able to get supper before dark.
>Today for the first time I saw Rue Anemone (sp?) with its very pretty
>flowers.  I also saw Indian Pinks and Lady Slippers.  The trail was moderate
>today except for the last little bit before the shelter...and that was a
>killer.  I came through an area that I had seen burned out last year and was
>happy to see all the green life that had come out since then.  How quickly it
>has turned green from the black of last year.
>Day 49  Tuesday, May 14  16 miles
>Pickle Branch Shelter to Campbell Shelter
>I slept cold again last night (32 degrees).  Its supposed to warm up
>again...I hope.  Ill be glad when it does warm up because Im having to wear
>my sweater to sleep in and its usually my pillow.  Pickle Branch Shelter is
>3/4 mile straight, so in the morning I had to do that in reverse.  Chicken
>John and Fred, both in their 60s, and one of the Apostles, were there in the
>The rhododendrons were in bloom today,  I also saw Lady Slippers and I loved
>passing beds of Lillies of the Valley--they are so fragrant.
>The climb over Dragons Tooth was horrendous, and then I also climbed McAfee
>Knob, so I put in a full day even though my mileage wasnt high.  The view
>from the knob was breathtaking.
>I was able to contact an outfitter in Roanoke which will help me replace the
>stove when I get to Cloverdale.
>Day 50  Wednesday, May 15  16 miles
>Campbell Shelter to U.S. 220
>Its been a very wet day and Im soaked through.  I ate at Western Sizzler
>and now Im waiting for someone to bring me my new stove.  Im a bit down,
>with my stove problems and the wet, cold weather.  I hate to spend money on a
>motle because Im spending money on a stove--but I cant go on yet because I
>still have to go to the post office.  But the sun will shine again and all of
>this will be forgotten.
>It was a treat to meet 4 lady hikers.  I stayed at Best Western with one of
>them, M&M, and her dog.  It had been several days since Id seen another
>female.  I phoned Dan, and several people called me after he gave out my
>phone number.
>A young man from the Roanoke outfitters brought my new stove about 6 p.m. and
>showed me how to work it.  It looks easy enough.  He also brought me a box to
>mail the old one back to Dan.  Im certain Dan can fix it.  I hiked the last
>part of the day with Bird, a young biology grad.  I enjoyed talking
>wildflowers with him, but he got his name because hes a birder.
>Day 51  Thursday, May 16
>Stayed at the hotel until the absolute limit.  I bought some fuel before I
>left (the hotel sells it by the pint).  Im now trying to get some calories
>at Pizza Hut.  Next stop is the post office in Troutville.