Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 10-May-1993

Date May 10, 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.

We are continuing to plod along. My feet look like they are wearing moleskin socks, but there are still no blisters and they they felt pretty good today. Dad finally had some problems with rubbing and chafing, so I guess it was only a matter of time.

A dog showed up at our shelter last night and quickly befriended the lady there (it looked hungry, so she fed it some of her husband’s dried beef — she was a vegetarian herself. The dog ate it and promptly drank all of the water I had carried 0.2 miles uphill in a bucket). Anyway, some people had been by earlier looking for a dog, but this one was really skinny (had not been eating well) and had obviously recently given birth, so there’s no telling if it was the same dog. She stayed at the shelter with the couple when we left (they had made mashed potatoes for her for breakfast).

We were shooting to make it 12 miles to the 2-room, stone shelter at the top of Blood Mtn., but Dad got a mild case of heat exhaustion and we stopped instead at Slaughter Gap (0.9 miles short).

We will pick up our first meal drop tomorrow, late morning, at Walasi-Yi Inn. After that, it will depend on how we’re feeling.

Yep, I was right. It does get more embarrassing. I have very vivid memories of the latter half of this day, and the fact that my dad really was not feeling well, and the ratio of my annoyance that we weren’t making it to the Blood Mountain shelter (“only” a mile away…but a mile going uphill!), to my concern for my dad’s well-being, was something like 50:50. Not cool.

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