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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
>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.