Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 08-Oct-1993

Date October 8, 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.

Well, actually, my journal ended yesterday, but I figured I’d recap the next few days just to finish out the tale.

On Friday, October 8th, it was cold and drizzly, and I was in a hurry. Not just because I was anxious to see Julie, but because this was pre-cell phone days, and I needed to make a couple of calls. The problem? The nearest phone was 5-10 miles down a road I was going to cross a couple of miles before I got to Baxter State Park.

I got to the road as fast as I could. It was a well-graded, wide dirt road, as I recall, that didn’t have much traffic. But, somehow, an older couple came by, picked me up, and drove me down to the gas station that had a pay phone. I called Julie’s dad and mom — and reached both of them, miraculously, and told them that I was going to propose to Julie the following day. Somehow, I then got back to the trail and then hiked the remaining couple of miles to Baxter State Park. Julie arrived shortly after I got there, and we decided to head into town to get a hotel room rather than staying in a shelter in the park (it seems like there was an issue there — they were really crowded, maybe?).

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