Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 09-Sep-1993

Date September 9, 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.

9/9/93 – Thur.

It’s just Buck and me at a tentsite tonight. It seems we have managed to do the impossible and find a designated campsite that has no weekenders within a half mile. Glen had some leg cramping problems that started yesterday afternoon. He was feeling better this afternoon, but still opted to stop a couple of miles short of where we had planned to go. He should catch us in Gorham on Sunday, as we are planning to get there Sunday morning, and he should still be able to get there Sunday afternoon.

I was able to get my maildrop at Mt. Washington today, but my boots somehow did not make it, so hopefully they will be in Gorham on Monday. We killed a good two hours on top of Mt. Washington trying to get all that straightened out, and Julie was in Houston, so I didn’t get to talk to her (by the way, more Buck-Julie similarities: both have had knee surgery, both have vanilla as their favorite yogurt flavor). The White Mountains are indeed spectacular, especially above treeline, and not a mile goes by that I don’t wish Julie were out here to enjoy them with me. She is such a special person to me, and I pray that 40 years from now I will be able to look back and be thankful that I only suffered one extended separation.

On to lighter things.

Buck and I both had a “falling” day. Buck won the sheer quantity award, but I managed to capture the creativity award, as I fell flat on my face while trying to put up my guidebook. As I went down, the guidebook went flying, and it took us several minutes of digging through the bushes to recover it. Buck managed to put a pretty big lump on her knee, and I scraped up my upper thigh a bit, but neither of us is any worse for the wear.

We are sharing a tent platform again tonight, and the wind has really picked up quite a bit. I managed to knock my pot off my stove while I was fixing dinner and trying not to let anything blow away, but I didn’t make too big of a mess. Buck was really worried that her rain fly was going to blow off in the night, and so she kept circling her tent and fussing over the guy lines (she has a North Face Tadpole, too). Finally, I pointed out to her that the fly was very securely attached to the tent, and since she was going to be in the tent, there was very little chance that it would blow away. I was really stating the obvious, but apparently the obvious had not clicked with her, because she got a rather sheepish look on her face and admitted that she now felt much better. Buck had done virtually no camping before she got on the A.T., and it sometimes shows. To her credit, though, she consistently is done with dinner and ready for bed before I am. On the whole, we’ve done a lot of laughing at ourselves and each other today. That, combined with beautiful weather as we hiked above treeline while climbing Mt. Washington, made it, on the whole, a good day.

But, Julie was not here and I did not even get to talk to her, so it was far, far away from being a perfect day.

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