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Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 06-Sep-1993

Date September 6, 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.

9/6/93 – Mon.

We headed into Lincoln, NH, last night and stayed at a hostel there (Loon Mtn.). This morning, Buck, Glen, and I headed out, while Chow Hound puttered around. He was kind of mad that we were up and about by 7:00 when he wanted to sleep in. He kind of made it clear that he was going to take his time getting out of town and not necessarily go the 10.1 miles that the rest of us were. He has indeed not arrived, and it looks like Buck and I (and Glen) will be hiking together for a while. We pretty much walked together all day today, which was really enjoyable.

Buck and I got into a discussion on relationships that got pretty deep but which is far from being finished. The real sticking point is this intangible, vague thing that supposedly all women would like to get (or have, or see) from their partner. Men, according to Buck, are incapable of providing (or being) this it, and the key to a happy relationship is the woman accepting this shortcoming in men, rather than trying to force it from him. This “thing” is still without definition, although Buck claims that all women know what she is talking about.

Is that true? Is Julie missing something? It’s hard to write on this when I so desperately fail to understand. Possibly there will be more on this later.

Hiking with Buck now is as fun, if not more so, than hiking with her back in North Carolina. We wind up in a number of deep discussions, she has one of the easiest laughs I have ever seen (meaning she laughs often — as often as not at herself). With luck, I’ll be with her through Katahdin — I may figure more out in the last month than I did in the first four.

Will I ever see Julie again? She is on my mind almost constantly, and I find myself babbling about her countless times throughout the day. I desperately need to spend some serious, uninterrupted time with her when I get off the trail. At every outstanding view (of which the White Mtns. have had unmatched ones) I feel her absence by my side. The trail would be so much more if I could share it with her moment to moment.

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