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State: The Great State of Na Hampsha
Begins: Apr 16, 2016
Date: Thu, Jul 21st, 2016
Entry Visits: 270
Journal Visits: 10,171
Guestbook Views: 411
Guestbook Entrys: 35
Journal Plan Training
Appalachian Trail Map
We weren't the first ones out of the shelter this morning but we were the
first ones up. There was a sign a few miles before Rolston Shelter alerting
hikers that logging operations were in progress along this stretch of the
trail. You start stirring in the hammock when it starts getting light out
around 6:00am with today bring no different. But at 6:30am the sound of a
chainsaw and skidder beckoned our presence and spurred us to crawl from our
comfy hammocks and start the day.
Staying at the shelter were two young cousins and another couple that were
hiking the LT along with a young man named Nick. He had a very low,
baritone voice and his trail name was Big Pipe. Thinking his name was due
to his low voice, we questioned that and no, it was because of his gigantic
pot pipe he carried with him along with his cashe of weed. He was very
enthusiastic about both wanting to show all but I declined gratefully. He
was the same individual that his mother supplied with the homemade cookies.
She probably thought he'd get the munchies after all the dope he smokes.
After breakfast, coffee and a couple good dumps, we were off to start our
longest, full pack hike of the trip. We were on the trail by 8:45am. A 14+
mile day that, from the map, looked relatively easy. Fucking maps lied.
We were 7+ miles from the first shelter named David Logan where HPP and I
would stop for lunch. In between there was three hills to climb and a gap
named Telephone Gap towards the final, mid day walk. The "little" hills
weren't so little, each one taking its toll on the fat man. I kept thinking
that each little hill we descended that Telephone Gap was at the bottom. At
times, there are markings along the trail that will tell you where you are
but in many instances there are none so you're left with an approximation
based on how fast you think you walk (mph) versus the time of day. I
thought we had passed the gap and was well on our way to lunch at the
shelter. I thought wrong. After descending another hill we FINALLY came to
the sign indicating Telephone Gap. Shit! Another 1.9 miles until the
shelter. I can't express the feeling of moral defeat when one's ignorance
is exposed. We still had another hour AND some uphill to go before lunch.
On we trudged.
Finally we arrived at the trail marker indicating we were at the side trail
for David Logan but it was an additional .2 miles to the
structure.....downhill! By the way, that means if you elect to go to the
shelter you have to walk .2 miles back UPHILL! Well, HPP and I needed
calories and water so we're committed to the venture down.
After some tuna sandwiches, some trail mix and plenty of water we were off
for the last 6.3 miles to Sunrise Shelter. Shit, this leg is kicking our
asses. In between the shelters was Bloodroot Mountain and, again, the map
showed a gentle up and then a gentle down into camp. Lies....all lies. The
down into camp wasn't bad but that up was again a killer. The misery was
probably enhanced by the previous 7.4 hard miles we did before. Now, for
the younger hikers or the hikers that are in relatively good shape, these
miles probably weren't that tough but for HPP and I, they sucked. At one
point I mentioned I didn't think we had reached the peak on Bloodroot
Mountain and HPP lashed out at me to don't say shit like that because that
meant another 3 miles after the peak to camp. I intelligently kept my
pie-hole shut and my estimations of distances to myself after that.
There were really no fantastic views to be had during the day and and the
trail was pissing me off. It seemed that a drunk person designed the
direction of the path winding around every tree and rock, up every little
knob with no sense of the pleasure that could be had by walking a straight
line on a gentle slope. Instead it seems the path forward is designed to
make an already hard hike even harder by this insane method of navigation!
I think this calls for a letter of complaint!
At any rate, HPP and I cruise into Sunrise shelter at 6:45pm. We had been
going for 10 hours. Time to collapse. After setting up our hammocks, we
were too tired to cook a meal so I ate a couple handfuls of trail mix as
did HPP. We visited with both couples (the cousins and the other couple)
for a bit but there was no energy for much else. We bragged to each of them
about only having .9 miles before we would complete the Long Trail. They
were not impressed but begrudgingly congratulated each of us. Big Pipe
never made it and we heard it was past noon where another hiker had passed
him at the same shelter we left him at. Probably trying to decrease his
pack weight by burning some of that dope.
After some hygiene, we were into the hammocks. There were around 4 other
hammocks of South bounders already hung. At one point during our visit one
of the guy's hammocks fell from its tree landing it's occupant squarely on
his ass. After getting into our hammocks we heard someone yell "No, no, no"
then a scream and a thud. I know that is no way to spend a part of your
night re-stringing your hammock when all you want to do is sleep. I
Tomorrow HPP's parents will be at Brandon Gap to kick us up at 10:00am.
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