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William "Wanderlust" Gornto
Begins: Jun 14, 2009
Date: Thu, Jun 25th, 2009
Entry Visits: 867
Journal Visits: 36,683
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Guestbook Entrys: 26
Appalachian Trail Map
This post is a bit out of order, as it is before the second half of my comments during the 100 mile wilderness. But I am at a PC now, so here it is.
I went through the 100 mile wilderness in nine days, six of which were very rainy. I had difficulty keeping things dry, as my Sea to Summit waterproof stuff sacks are anything but. Compounding matters was the fact that my pack cover did not repel rain. Rain leaked through the cover, through the pack and saturated the contents of my pack. Fortunately, my down sleeping bag and spare clothes were in a plastic garbage bag which didn't leak, so they stayed dry. My pack cover is blaze orange to protect me during hunting season. Apparently, the designers didn't realize that the first function of a pack cover is to repel rain, and did not use waterproof fabric. I have remedied the situation by borrowing a pack cover from a friend who left the trail until my actually waterproof pack cover is sent to me.
But for the persistence of the rain, and the resulting anxiety over my belongings, I loved the 100 mile wilderness. The first few days were a gentle grade to get the trail legs warmed up and the last few days were marked by multiple ascents and descents per day, none as big as Katahdin, but just three or for climbs daily. The rest of Maine and New Hampshire will have many, many climbs. I expect the weather to moderate somewhat and the rain to be less constant. I prefer sleeping solo in my tent to being stacked like cord wood in a shelter.
I have hiked with wonderful, pleasant people. All of them are capable hikers who could go far on this trail and some will. I am hiking with a recently married, recently graduated couple from UGA and another recent college graduate from Eckerd College. I have also hiked with other age groups, some older and some younger than me. A few people have left the trail already, two from injuries and another for academic reasons. As the weeks go by, I will likely become separated from this initial group due to differing hiking speeds, styles, etc. I will meet and mingle with others along the way. My hiker appetite is kicking in and I am stuffing myself quite readily here in Monson. My mail drop was here waiting for me and except for a ruptured powdered gatorade pouch which covered everything, it arrived perfectly intact.
My trail legs are under me. My contentment with being on the trail is growing, and barring an unfortunate injury orr illness, I expect to press on the full distance.
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. Conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937, it traverses the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Learn more: www.appalachiantrail.org