July 16, 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.
7/16/93 – Fri.
10.3 miles today with Julie (!!!) to the Sawmill Spring/Moore Shelter.
I made it to the phone at Ashby Gap by 5:30 yesterday afternoon — I was average easily over 3 miles an hour for the last 10 miles and probably didn’t “see” much of the trail. I did find the first of the raspberries, though, yesterday, and they are good. For some reason, the birds and bugs don’t seem to get to them, and it’s quite easy to stand in one place and eat handful after handful of the darn things. I cam close to giving myself a stomachache yesterday morning, and julie fought a losing battle today to keep from munching herself to oblivion as well.
We didn’t get started until almost nine o’clock this morning, which was a bit later than I would have liked, but we took it relatively easy and still made it to the shelter by 4:00 PM, so it worked out fine. I was amazed at how fresh I was still feeling at the endo fthe day — I guess I’m so used to pushing longer and harder that today was really almost a rest day.
Julie was going fine until the last hill of the day, and it really kind of finished her off. But, a Reese’s Cup, some water, and a few minutes lying down in the shelter really rejuvenated her. Tomorrow will probably be more of a test — whether she’s sore in the morning and whether her body will agree to a second day of hiking.
My whole outlook on the A.T. seems to change when Julie is along. Whereas when I am alone, I really enjoy the physical challenge of the hike, I seem to relax more when Julie is here and enjoy both the outdoors and her company. I would walk five miles a day from Georgia to Maine and back, and do so with pleasure, if I were doing it with Julie. She really is the thing I miss the most while on the trail.
We made a really good dinner tonight of a chicken and dumpling type dish that Dad had sent and of my fruit recipe. The only fresh fruit we used were blueberries. We used 4 Jolly Ranchers, some honey, a mixture of home-dried fruits in addition to the “fruit bits,” and a little less water. It was good! If Dad sends many more of his recipes, I’m going to stop missing home cooking!
Well, I have a very special person to spend quality time with, so, until tomorrow…
I have a bit of a blank spot in my memory of the logistics here. I actually have a very clear memory of the spot where we met up in Ashby Gap, but I didn’t record much as to the exact logistics. I think Julie probably picked me up and we went back to Gommie and Dee’s to spend the night, then maybe got dropped off by Gommie the next morning? I know I took some time off while in that area, but that wasn’t until after Julie and I hiked, so maybe more on that in a future entry.