Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 09-May-1993

Date May 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.

5/9/93 — Sun.

We made about twelve miles today and are staying in Gooch Gap Shelter. Today was full of steep ascents and descents, and Dad almost didn’t make it the last couple of miles. But, we did, and we have a long day tomorrow if we’re going to to make it to Blood Mountain. I guess I’ll stop writing that we hiked up and down a lot, because it seems like that’s a given.

We’re sharing the shelter tonight with an older couple (50s?) that are on Day 6 of their hike from Amicalola, so we should not feel so bad. however, we are also sharing the shelter with a guy about my age who hiked all the way from Springer Mtn. today (~17 miles). He passed us at Hightower Gap and is planning to average 17 miles a day (he’ll be done by mid-September).

I’m thinking about unloading a lot of little stuff on Dad when he leaves, as my perspective as to the relative importance of some of my gear has changed in the past two days.

Dad no longer thinks he’ll be able to make it to Fontana Dam by next Friday. Only time will tell.


We also saw some Army Rangers on maneuver (they were not allowed to use the trail).

The lady in the shelter had an inflatable sink — and that was after they’d jettisoned some of their “unnecessary” equipment.

Again, I was a bit snot-nosed when it came to cracking the whip on my dad. I don’t need to read ahead to know that this is going to get more embarrassing for me before it gets better, as my attitude on that front has come up on numerous occasions over the years.

Considering that, now, with both of us being 15 years older, my dad is in much better shape than I am and would almost assuredly walk circles around me if we returned to the start of the A.T. again… let’s just say I’m not proud about my attitude. If anything, my comments in my journal understate the comments I was making throughout the time he hiked with me.

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