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[at-l] SLACKPACK TOUR



1997 SLACKPACK TOUR OF THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL
also visit website "www.geocities.com/yosemite/trails/4404"

MAY 28, 1997 - WEDNESDAY

	we ate breakfast at the LOG CABIN restaurant, which is located up
the hill, behind the BIG WALKER motel.  this is the same restaurant that
we ate supper at last evening (limited menu, large portions, staff is
hiker friendly).  after breakfast, we headed for KIMBERLING CREEK (VA
612).  SUNSHINE and i started our hike.  TIMMY's ankle was still swollen,
and she chose to stay off of it, and not hike.  FORREST GUMP also stayed
with the support van.  the van headed for WYTHEVILLE to retrieve PANTHER
FAN, who hopefully was tooth pain negative...
	the weather was tremendous.  the sun was shining, there was no
humidity, and there was a very slight chill in the air.  the terrain was
fairly benign.  NUMB was at the HELVEYS MILL shelter, and had been having
stomach cramps.  there was a day-hiker also there, that had a car at the
VA 612, that was going to drive NUMB up the trail a ways so he could
recover, but not lose the group he had been hiking with.  further up the
trail, i ran into a german fellow named BLAUMEIER, and further yet,
BROOSTER.  SUNSHINE was at the JENNY KNOB shelter, along with FIREBIRD
(previously NATER of the AT lists) and HASHBROWN.  SUNSHINE and i hiked
the rest of the trail together...
	PETER PAN had day-hiked in about a mile to meet us.  he indicated
that there was a large BLACK SNAKE just down the trail. sure enough, the
thing was five or six feet long, and over an inch in diameter. it reared
back into a "strike" position as we approached.  PETER PAN and SUNSHINE
got some great pictures...
	at our destination, KIMBERLING CREEK (VA 606), there is a
wonderful SUSPENSION BRIDGE that spans 100 feet or so.  the cameras
started clicking again.  FIREBIRD came by and noticed a rope swing over
the creek, near the bridge.  he dropped his pack and plunged in. 
SUNSHINE was not to be outdone, and did the same.  the cameras were
clicking again...
	PETER PAN had is vehicle there at the creek, and we all hopped in
and drove just up the road to TRENTS grocery store.  they let hikers tent
in a field nearby.  GILAMAN, PANTHER FAN, TIMMY, and FORREST GUMP were
there.  also there, coming in before and after us, were:  HOOPS and M&M,
HASHBROWN, BROOSTER, BLAUMEIER, and HUNGRY MOTHER.  it was nice having a
pain free PANTHER FAN back, and we had a nice social evening...

MAY 29, 1997 - THURSDAY

	todays hike was boring, then punishing, then boring, then
punishing.  it starts with a multi-mile trek along a creek.  this is fine
for a while, but an early morning rain had soaked the trees and
underbrush, and had muddied the trail.  we were wet and dirty...
	after WAPITI shelter, the trail quickly climbed nearly 3000 feet
into the moist, chilly clouds.  this was very fatiguing.  then came a
long boring walk along an old roadbed...
	sporatic rain came as we hiked the last couple of miles.  the
trail along this section was nothing but WET ROCKS and WET ROOTS.  this
is a dangerous, dangerous situation...
	the van was at SUGAR RUN GAP.   i was very happy to end the days
hike.  this area was enveloped in clouds, rain was falling, and the
temperature was less than friendly.  SUNSHINE was chilled to the bone,
and could not warm up, even though she had changed into dry cloths and
was in the warm van.  we decided to head in to PEARISBURG, VA, and get a
motel room.  the other choice was the WOODSHOLE HOSTEL, which was our
original plan, but there was no warmth to be had there.  we took showers,
ate supper, and hit the sack...

MAY 30, 1997 - FRIDAY

	we were up early, had breakfast, and were on the trail by 8am. 
our incentive was the ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET at PIZZA HUT.  our goal was
to be there by NOON after a 10 mile hike.  SUNSHINE and i made by 11:40,
and TIMMY by 12:15!  after lunch (yum) we continued hiking to VA 641...
	GILAMAN, PANTHER FAN, SUNSHINE, FIREBIRD, and BROOSTER took the
van and headed for BLACKSBURG, VA, where there are two OUTFITTERS, a
WALMART, a BLOCKBUSTER, and a SIX SCREEN MOVIE THEATER.  everyone that
went had a different chore or task to perform.  the crew returned with a
video of MONTY PYTHON's HOLY GRAIL.  it was a humorous night...

MAY 31, 1997 - SATURDAY

	a day off.  plans include a trip to the movie theater in
BLACKSBURG...


Rick Mann, aka Pittsburgh
slackpacker@bigfoot.com
www.geocities.com/yosemite/trails/4404
800-803-2767
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