Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 04-Sep-1993

Date September 4, 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.

9/4/93 – Sat.

Today was our first real day in the White Mountains. We got above treeline for the first time when we ascended Mt. Moosilauke, but the weather was too misty to see anything. Some weekenders had pretty much taken over the shelter when we arrived, so we are all tenting tonight (Buck, Chow Hound, Glen, The Seeker, & myself). This is my first time in a tent since way back in the Smokies.

We only went 14.9 miles today, but it was the roughest terrain I have seen yet on the trail, so it was a long, tough day. I felt that I was teetering on the brink of both physical and psychological threshold. I kept waiting for a shooting pain that would be a sprain, a stress fracture, or some other calamity. At the same time, Mt. Katahdin seemed farther away than it has in quite some time, and I wondered if I would ever make it there. Over four million steps taken so far, and less than a million to go, but less than a million is still a lot.

Buck is thinking about dropping off the Oct. 3 ETA in favor of Chow Hound’s Oct. 10 goal. The 3rd is feasible, though, and I am afraid that I will have to part with Buck if she slows down, as do not think I could bring myself to hold back on mileage like that. It hardly seems fair that I worked so hard to catch up with Buck only to pass her by. Nothing is set in stone, of course, so we will see.

It’s interesting that, just as I hit the most spectacular section of the trail — the White Mountains in New Hampshire and on north from there — I was planning my end point pretty hard.

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