Trail Journal

Date: October 5 2000
Trail Day: 127
Miles Today: 13
Location: Rock Spring Hut
Section Mile: AT 1241
ECT Mile: 1939

Short hike today. Heard a bear running. I had seen another one 3 days ago. Also saw a very timid deer.

Met a day-hiker - Mickey. She works in the police department and gets 3 months off every year and takes up a cashier's job at different national parks.

Had food at Lakeside. Met Leading and Trailing at the hut. They are a friendly couple. They are hiking half the trail this year. They also told me of 3 beers sitting in the spring which I dutifully polished off.

Sweatbox, Blue and H. Monster also showed up.

Looks like the temperature is going to take a dive after several days of excellent weather.

A misty morning shot

Date: October 6 2000
Trail Day: 128
Miles Today: 20
Location: Near Swift Run Gap
Section Mile: AT 1261
ECT Mile: 1959

Got a shot of H. Monster, Blue, Sweat Box, Leading and Trailing in the morning.

Today's hike was very easy. I aimed for a 15 mile day but managed a 20. This doesn't happen too often. Also a very good day for wild life viewing. Saw several deer. They are so comfortable that they don't run away. I got a shot of some of them. Also saw another bear. He was walking along the trail in the same direction, turned around to look, ran about 100 ft along the trail before diving into the bushes. Also saw a bobcat. Bobcats are very shy and it is very rare to see them. He was also on the trail then ran up some rocks. I thought he would be gone by the time I got there but he was sitting a little up looking at me. They camouflage very well - I got a shot of him too. His eyes sparked when the flash went off.

The temperature has dropped quite a bit. Also stopped at a restaurant and store along the way. The week-end crowd is also starting to come in. They are a friendly lot.

I should be done with the Shenandoah's and into Waynesboro in a little more than 2 days. I will pick up a mail drop and spend a O day there.

Tried out Suriyan's new stove while cooking. It has a somewhat cumbersome lighting process although once it gets going it works very well. I need to experiment more with it.

Date: October 7 2000
Trail Day: 129
Miles Today: 18
Location: Near Loft Mountain Campground
Section Mile: AT 1279
ECT Mile: 1977

Today was a bizarre day. I had no idea what the time was most of the day. I thought it was 2:00 PM at one point but one of the day hikers told me it was 5:00 PM. I got to the wayside hoping to get some food but it was closed. There were several other cars that drove by hoping they were open. Definitely Government run! It started getting extremely cold and windy. Set up tarp and slept. Saw one bear and numerous deer today.
A shot
Another shot

Date: October 8 2000
Trail Day: 130
Miles Today: 20
Location: Calf Mountain Shelter
Section Mile: AT 1281
ECT Mile: 1979

Extremely cold night. My feet were numb around 3:00 AM. Nothing much you can do. Did have a good breakfast at the Loft Mountain Wayside. They did not open till 9:00 AM and as soon as they opened there was a line of about 30 people. Government run - like I said.

Because of the cold night I decided to make it to the shelter - 20 miles. The terrain was easy in the beginning but then became quite up and down. I was quite glad when I reached the shelter. Met John the Baptist (southbounder) and Church Mouse (section hiker, 97 thru hiker). We had an interesting conversation. My food turned out tasty for a change. I need to learn to cook better. It just takes a little more care but is well worth it.

Tonight promises to be very cold as well.
Shot of a deer
A scenic shot
Another scenic shot
Yet another scenic shot

Date: October 9 2000
Trail Day: 131
Miles Today: 7
Location: YMCA, Waynesboro
Section Mile: AT 1288
ECT Mile: 1986

Last night was C...O...L...D. Could not sleep much. I meed more winter gear. The pack is becoming quite heavy now - but I have no choice. The 7 mile hike to Rockfish gap went in a flash. Set up tarp at the ground near the Y. Met Andrew (south bounder). Later on H-Monster and Blue showed up. Then Grits joined us. I had met Grits (north bounder) in New Hampshire. He is now doing a section hike of the Shenandoah's. He's certainly picked a good time to do it. He gave me a ride to K-Mart where I picked up some more warm clothes and denatured alcohol.

Tomorrow I pick up mail drop, check my e-mail etc.

Date: October 10 2000
Trail Day: 132
Miles Today: 0
Location: YMCA, Waynesboro
Section Mile: AT 1288
ECT Mile: 1986

A very good O day. Andrew, H-Monster, Blue, Sweatbox, T-Pot and John the Baptist were here.
Colorful Tents

Date: October 11 2000
Trail Day: 133
Miles Today: 18
Location: Rusty's
Section Mile: AT 1306
ECT Mile: 2004

Had a good breakfast and got to the trail by 11:00 AM. After the climb to Humpback mountain the trail was fairly easy. Got to the Three Ridges Parking Overlook on the Blueridge Parkway and tried to get a ride to Rusty's. It was getting dark so I decided to walk there. I got a ride after about half an hour.

Rusty's is a very interesting place. He doesn't have electricity, phones or plumbing. He has been taking in hikers for 28 years.

Also a big day for me today - crossed 2000 miles. WOW ! I can't believe it. All I can say is - Religiously move one stone at a time and you will move a mountain.

Here's another rhyme -


After months and months in the wilderness,
There's something I have to confess.
On the move or while at rest,
I see visions of the breast.
All round, plump and juicy,
I crave it as you can see.
Throw in some legs and thighs,
I'll pass out without a sigh.

KFC, Pollo Tropical,
Where are you when I need you all ?
O, French Canadian maiden
"Ou est le poulet ?" * - 1
I could surely use the eggs she lays.
O Mere Sapnon Ki Rani,
Mere Liyae Bacha Kuch Biriyani ? * - 2
Kohli, kohli ingae Vaa,
Konjum Shakti yaneku tha. * - 3

Now I can more easily rest,
Having told you of the chicken breast.
Fried a crispy golden brown,
I can't wait for the next trail town.

* - 1 : French - Where is the chicken ?
* - 2 : Hindi - O queen of my dreams, Where is my chicken fried rice ?
* - 3 : Tamil - Chicken, chicken come here. Give me some energy.

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