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- Subject: [at-l] journal
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard K Mann)
- Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 21:45:02 EST
THE 1997 SLACKPACK TOUR OF THE APPALACHAIN TRAIL
MARCH 28, 1997 - FRIDAY
arrived at AMICALOLA FALLS STATE PARK around 2pm, after some
grocery shopping. weather is stormy and generally unpleasant. i have
reserved thru checkout time on sunday (easter). drove past the cottage,
on to the lodge to check in, then on to the visitor center to let the
know that any hikers are welcome to stop by. cottage is large with 2
2 bathrooms, large kitchen/dining/living area, large screened porch, AND
ALONE. the young couple that were to drive my van this summer decided to
up after 2 years together, and to each go their seperate ways, neither
to go my way. i have hired a fellow from new jersey to drive the van,
won't arrive for 2 more weeks. plan B...
i opened all of the doors and windows of the cottage and unpacked
the groceries and was getting well settled in when i heard a knock at the
an exasperated young lady with a large backpack is saying that the ranger
her that she may find a welcome face here at cottage #7. she turned out
a 40 year old by the name of JANE who had thought that she would have to
the storm, and was glad to accept my hospitality. we talked, i saw the
of her kids, we went thru her pack and got rid of some of the weight, and
there was another knock at the door. this time it was a 56 year old
PETE. he joined me and jane, we had coffee, we went thru his pack.
know it, it was midnight. goodnight...
MARCH 29, 1997 - SATURDAY
we were all up at the crack of dawn, drinking coffee and eating
JANE was packed and gone by 8am. PETE hung around a while and got going
time to do some dishes and clean up a bit...
so i straightened up, did some paperwork for the accountant,
of my pending hikes, and decided that the day was just too gorgeous to
change into my hiking gear and did 3 miles of the appalachian approach
NIMBLEWILL GAP ROAD to the VISITOR CENTER and return. i'm pumped...
the day was so nice that no one came to visit. i read, i ate, i
shower, i planned some more hikes, i drove to a phone to check my
messages, i did the dishes, i played some games on the computer, i turned
MARCH 30, 1997 - EASTER SUNDAY
up at dawn, i dressed for hiking, ate breakfast, loaded the van,
the place up, went to the lodge to check out, then drove to NIMBLEWILL
started hiking around 9am. stunning day, cool and breezy in the shade,
breezy in the sun. took my time, met a few people, and hiked the last
SPRINGER MOUNTAIN, the southern terminus of the APPALACHIAN TRAIL, with a
named HOOZ (pronounced HOSS with an ending Z sound). the view was
many people at the summit, day hikers and thru-hikers. this is a
for many. continued on to SPRINGER MOUNTAIN SHELTER to read the register
neither PETE nor JANE signed the register, so they must have skipped the
entries in the register date from march 2nd. left the shelter around 1pm
back. i quickly realized that i had planned too many miles for my 2nd
day of hiking,
but when you are day hiking, you have no choice but to make it back. you
sing and try to forget the ankle pain and the tightening calf muscles. i
running low on water, and had only a banana to eat. at BLACK GAP
SHELTER, one mile
south of SPRINGER MOUNTAIN, there was a family of 4 eating lunch. time
to test my
yogi-ing skills (passive mooching). we talked about the trail and about
and about my hike and finally they offered me some food, beef jerky and
i was happy and grateful, and it improved my stamina and outlook. i
up the trail is a good water source, a spring. i will drink from
springs, not from
streams, but springs. i gorged myself with water and filled my container
to the brim.
this also improved my stamina and outlook. but the trail continued to
take its toll.
i got off of the trail and onto a forest road, thinking that it would
save me some
miles. a mile or two later, a kind hearted fellow, in a pickup truck,
with his wife
and baby, explained to me that this road did not go where i thought it
did. i hopped
into the back of the truck, and he drove me back to the trail. fatigued,
but in good
spirits after laughing about my unusually poor sense of direction, i
the trail. i got off of the trail again for another road walk, but this
time i knew
i was going the proper direction. a couple of miles down, a forest
ranger picked me
up. he had some backcountry rounds to do, so we talked and talked, and
made it back to my van. apparently there is going to be a backcountry
AMICALOLA FALLS STATE PARK that will be accessible to the public only
with a 5-1/2
mile hike. the lodge will be staffed and open year round, beginning
my friends at ROPER should have an interest in this. anyway, i survived
but the story is not over...
i was very fatigued, and did not wish to cook my own supper, so i
DAHLONEGA and got something to eat there. i then drove to WOODY GAP,
to set up camp for the night. on last years hike, i slept in the van.
the van is full, and i must pitch a tent. darkness was coming, the winds
whipping, but after much foolishness my tent was up and i crawled inside.
winds kept whipping, and the rain started to fall, but i survived the
MARCH 31, 1997 - MONDAY
it was very cold this morning. my hands were freezing as i broke
i just threw everything in the van. i drove to the WALMART in DAHLONEGA
to get a
new sleeping pad. the one i have is not sufficient...
i drove to GOOCH GAP and waited until about 11am for enough
warmth to start
hiking. it is a cold day. heading south for a mile or so, i ran into
was in a funk and did not know why. we hiked back to GOOCH GAP together.
it was a
short mileage day for her, but she didn't want to go further. we drove
to SUCHES so
she could make a phone call and buy some rice. i checked my messages.
went back to GOOCH GAP and set up camp, ate an early supper, got a
campfire going and
relaxed. just before dark we put out the fire and retired to our tents.
were periodically strong. around 9pm, after some shut eye, JANE noticed
fire had flared up again. it was cold and windy, but i forced myself out
of my tent
and gave the fire another good dose of water. then i saw it! HALE-BOPP!
APRIL 1, 1997 - TUESDAY
very cold again this morning. didn't want to get out of the bag,
bladder had different ideas. got a fire going, then JANE decided to
interesting how that happened. hiked with jane to WOODY GAP. PETE was
we had a nice discussion. he was in good spirits and is enjoying the
out he had also spent the night in GOOCH GAP, but on the other side of
met a fellow there by the name of PAT that had blown out his knee (ouch).
looking for a ride to an ATM and a hospital. I told him to wait a few
i'd be back for him. i hiked back to GOOCH GAP and then drove back to
we drove into DAHLONEGA and got him taken care of. he is off of the
trail for the
rest of the year, but has agreed to join the SLACKPACK TOUR helping with
interesting how things work out here. having a sedate night at the days
DAHLONEGA after pigging out at pizza hut...
Rick Mann, aka Uncle Rick, aka Pittsburgh
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