Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 14-May-1993

Date May 14, 2008

This is a 5-month long series of blog posts that are the entries in my journals written on most evenings as I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1993. The journal entry appears first — indented — and then any additional commentary from my 15-years-removed perspective follows.

I don’t have much time to write this evening, as I have been puttering around camp and the sun is about to disappear.

We started out great this morning, refreshed from our weather-brought rest yesterday afternoon, and walked the 7.1 miles to the Deep Gap shelter with only one break. We stopped there for lunch (Troll had done the same and was still there when we got there), dried out some of our stuff, filled our water bottles, and resumed hiking at 2:15. We only made another 4.6 miles before stopping to camp about 1.1 miles past Dick’s Creek Gap. Dan was already here, and he and Dad are kicking around different ways to kill time once we get to the Rainbow Springs Campground (Dad as to when his flight leaves and Dan as to when his wife can get off work to come pick him up).

I remain frustrated at the slow pace, and it obviously shows. I know Dad cannot go any faster, but i am really itching to see how I will do on my own. Troll is going to spend the weekend in Fontana Village with his girlfriend next weekend, so hopefully that will give me time to catch up. I plan to spend a rest day there and get some postcards written.

I am beginning to think that I will tell Mike & Tomjay not to hike with me. I think I have gotten in "hiking shape," and they would slow me down, unleashing all the frustrations I am now feeling with Dad.

I had no memory that "Mike and Tomjay" were ever thinking about doing some hiking with me. They were my two closest friends in college. As a matter of fact, we’ll be staying with Mike when we head to our 15-year college reunion this summer. Needless to say, they did not come out and hike with me. Ron — my "best friend since 7th grade" did, and Julie did. I have positive memories of both, so maybe I just needed to get some solo experience under my belt before I became an obnoxiously mile-hungry hiker.

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