Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 04-Jun-1993

Date June 4, 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.

6/4/93 – Fri.

A crowded shelter this evenign at Hogback Ridge. Parrothead, Station Break, The Traileaters, Buck, Bearanoid, and I are here. Bearanoid and I got here at about 5:00, and teh last three hours were pretty mean. We’d kind of planned on the last six miles of the 21.3 mile day being tough, so it was a physical shock more than a mental one.

Buck was still in her sleeping bag this morning when we left, and we really didn’t think she’d make it here, but she rolled in around 7:00.

It turns out that Bearanoid and i seem to be on the early-rising side of the hikers out here. We get up around 6:15 and hit the trail between 7:00 and 7:30. We like to be off the trail between 4:00 and 6:00, whereas other people seem to not mind hiking later. I like to have plenty of daylight to cook, get water, etc., as does Bearanoid. I do kind of wonder if we would remain as compatible if we were thru-hiking instead of stopping in Damascus. We actually hike together a log — our paces are really compatible, and we tend to converse a decent amount.

We have an ongoing debate about who is carrying the better backpacking stove — me with my MSR Whisperlite or Bearanoid with his Peak I. There really probably isn’t a right answer, but we try to make our point with as many cheap shots as possible. We always quiz the people who we stay with at night as to what they’re carrying and draw them into the argume as well. It’s all good-natured and on-going.

Once again I am struck by the congeniality in the shelter. Everyone is relaxed, and conversations work there way quickly to common ground. Laughter is common, and even the quietist people speak up perodically. I have little else to say, really, even though I have plenty of time, so I will end my entry for the evening.

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