Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 28-May-1993
May 28, 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.
5/28/93 – Fri.
Today was M.I.T.’s commencement. At some point during the exercises, I stood atop the lookout tower on top of Clingman’s Dome, the highest point on the A.T. All in all, I was much happier to be there than in Boston. The tower itself was pretty neat architecturally. It was a concreate tower that had a great big ramp that circled around through the trees and up to the top. It had a real Corbusian look.
One of my first stunts as a college graduate was to leave camp this morning and forget to pack something up — it was may camp shoes. I didn’t realize it until I got to camp tonight, so it looks like I will do the barefoot thing at least until Hot Springs.
I’m camped at Icewater Shelter tonight with Bearanoid, a guy who is hiking from one end of the park and back, and six guys (actually, 5 guys and one woman) from Indiana who come up for Memorial weekend every year. They remind me a lot of canoe trips in the old days with teh Fontenots, the Daniels, the Cooks, and Karen. They poke fun at each other all the time and have no qualms about delving into crude humor. They’ve managed to build probably one of the biggest fires I will see on the trail.
Poison ivy is really getting bad on me. i put cortisone cream on it every time I take a break, but I sweat so much that I don’t think it lasts very long. I wonder if the sweat might be spreading it some, too.
I met a lady today who said she had given Bushwack a ride from Stecoah Gap to Fontana, so it looks like he is up to his same old antics.
In Hot Springs, Bearanoid and I have decided that we will try to shave at least 10 pounds off of my pack. The tent may get sent home for a trial period, and who knows what else. I’m desperately trying to finish One Man’s Meat . I’m really enjoying it, but it’s so damn big! Obviously, Bearanoid and I are planning on sticking together for a while. I’m pretty comfortable around him, so I’m pretty pleased about him
We’re sitting around the fire while I’m writing, and the conversation has degraded on down to fecal humor, so I felt obliged to tell the story of [name removed] and the broken branch — one of those A.T. memories he would really like to forget!
Tentatively, we’ve got two more days to the end of the park and then two more to a shelter that is three miles out of Hot Springs.
Sky, pink and blue
A soft pastel mix.
Fire, hot orange, yellow, and white
A fierce inferno
Wilderness, green & brown
A passive observer
Man, all colors, moving about
An undefinable element
I hope Julie had a good day today. I thought about her a lot as I hiked, and, as always, wished that it was a feasible for her to be on the trail with me.