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[at-l] Gypsy's Final journal (for now)

I received this today from Gypsy via email. If you are interested in
contacting her please read through the entire journal to the email and
snail-mail addresses at the end.


June 8, 1997 - After a week off the trail it was very difficult to return
today.  My sister and brother-in-law (Julie & Mitsuo) drove me to where the
AT crosses US-55.  Smoky sure didn't want me to leave him behind so he
accepted a full pack.  I would like to get to the MD/PA border if possible,
but family matters make me feel like I should be at home for a while.  I
still need to hike the SNP - maybe in the fall.  Who knows, I may even try
section hiking with Felix this fall/winter ;-)))).  Seriously, I doubt that I
could keep up with him!

The ranks of thru hikers are definitely thinning and I'm so happy that some
I've hiked/sheltered with are still hangin' in there:  Puget Pounder, Tew
Ton, Silence, Reveille, Ultra Lite, Falling Apart, and a few more.  I hope
all goes well with them.

We hiked about 7 miles today after a late start and ended up at Dick's Dome
shelter - nice creek in front.

June 9, 1997:
Left around 8 am - an easy 9 miles to Rod Hollow shelter, although there
isn't a decent spot in those 9 miles in which to take a break.  Arrived at
the shelter for lunch at 12:30, exhausted.  I decided to take a nap after
lunch; Skydiver came along for a lunch break and we talked for a little
while, but then I slept until 3:30.  The next shelter is 7 miles and I
promised myself no more 16 mile days.  There hasn't been a campsite along
this entire section of trail, and nothing suitable to make one, so I think
I'm here for the night.  

June 10, 1997:
I'm having lower back pain again - it has to be from the pack.  Wingfoot's
book said this section of trail is lots of ups and downs which don't exactly
show up on the profile map.  He was right!  The ups were pretty steep in some
places.  I was very tired on reaching Sam Moore shelter for lunch - took a 2
hr break and left intending to get to Bear's Den Hostel for the night.  About
2-1/2 miles short of the hostel I met George Thoms on the trail who is an AT
Corridor Monitor.  We talked briefly and I spoke of going home from Haper's
Ferry.  Talk about trail angels, he immediately offered to drive me home
today.  I accepted, and we agreed to meet at 4pm at the hostel.  He didn't
arrive at 4:00 and I assumed he had car problems or something like that.  I
finally checked in the hostel, set up my tent and took a shower.  I was
delighted to see "B" (Be As You Are) whom you may remember I left in Hampton,
TN on his way to the Dr. with a bad ankle.  He ultimately had to go home to
Connecticut to recuperate, is now hiking south from CT to TN and will return
home to finish hiking northward to Katahdin.  He looked fine and was in good
spirits.  I was so glad to see and talk with him again.  Mr. Thoms arrived at
the hostel, I took my tent down and packed up to find Smoky already in the
back seat of the car - GOING HOME!!!

June 11, 1997:
It's good to be back home for now.  I'm limping pretty badly from the pain in
my lower back - never have figured out what causes it but I think it has to
do with the pack.  A few days' rest will hopefully take care of it.  I plan
to hike the Shenandoah National Park later on in the fall, and possibly
continue where I left off for a few weeks.  I definitely plan to finish, but
it will be next year at the earliest, and I hope I will be able to continue
posting my journal.

I welcome letters either to my email address:  MManzano@aol.com, or to my
mailing address:  Martha Manzano, 2300 Pimmit Drive #205, Falls Church, VA
 22043.  I thank everyone who has followed my story and wished me luck.  The
greatest thing I learned on the hike is that there are so many wonderful,
caring people, who give freely with no thought of reward or benefit.  God
bless them all.


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