Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 18-May-1993

Date May 18, 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.

5/18/93 — Tue.

For the first time, I am sitting in exactly the same spot for two consecutive journal entries. It feels good, and I now have a greater appreciation for a day of rest. I read all of Harmful Intent, by Robin Cook. I do not think it was nearly as good as Brain, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I do miss pleasure reading, and I look forwar to having the copy of One Man’s Meat (E. B. White) to tote along.

My pack is prety much all loaded up after round two of picking out the “non-essentials” (round one was at Walasi-Yi Center). The pack still does not exactly feel light, but it felt comfortable when I put it on — probably more from having carried it for ten days than from the reduction of its mass by a collapsible wash basin, a pot lid, a plastic spoon, a plastic spatula, and about five other small, virtually weightless items.

My body has certainly appreciated the rest. My left heel/Achille’s tendon is still just a bit tender, as is my right hip, but they feel much better than they did yesterday afternoon.

Dad an Dan are being shuttled to Ashevilled tomorrow morning (Dad – plane; Dan – bus), and the rest of us are going to head on down the trail. Troll’s Achille’s tendon is still bothering him, but we have until Friday to make it the 30 miles to Wesser, which is pretty light hiking. Hopefully he will be as good as new by the time we reach Fontana.

We didn’t do much today — sat on the porch and talked with Dan a lot. He’s a sharpt guy with a quick wit, and I hope that tomorrow morning is not the last I ever see of him.

I’m meeting Julie in Wesser on Friday, and the time between now and then is one of those quirky things in that it is both a long and a short period. It is long because I wish I could see her now if not sooner, but it is so much sooner than June 9. I do lover her.

I no longer have a mirror with me (the toilet kit returns with Dad), which means two things: first, if I become lost and a plane flies overhead, I will have to build a fire or use the face of my watch (as a mirror) to attract attention. Second, I will not be able to watch the growth of my facial hair, which is not missing much. As far as I can tell, my facial hairs grow at a reasonable rate, but they only cover about 5% of the “normal” facial hair area. I am one of the few people who could actually count the hairs on his face if he actually wanted to (I have no such desire).

My handwriting has been deteriorating since I began this journal. I will make a conscious effort to remedy that, so as to save my eyes and mind in years hence, when I try to reread my thoughts.

My handwriting has continued to deteriorate over the years. By comparison, the journal, thus far, is remarkably legible!

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