Appalachian Trail Journals 04-21-03

Journals From A 2003 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (by Loony)

Entry #30 – April 21, 2003

5:30 PM – Woke up very early off & on to rain & thunderstorms. I was SO glad to be in the shelter. Slept in for a bit listening to the pounding drops on the roof. Eventually crawled out of our bags between 7 & 8. Andy got some fuel from Rumbler, since he was headed into Gatlinburg & could resupply. The rain let up a bit & we left the shelter around 9:45 – the first ones to leave for once!

Had only a 4 mile hike to Newfound Gap – kind of a rest area & the only place in the Smokies where the trail crosses a road. Lots of people hike into Gatlinburg from there. We were tempted (well, mainly Andy kept mentioning it) to go into town because of the rain, but I refused to give in. We’ve been planning our next town stay to be in Hot Springs, and maybe we’ll even have a zero day. Used the restrooms, which is always fun – you know, flush toilets, running water and mirrors. Was still raining a bit, so just decided to go another 4 or so miles to Ice Water Spring Shelter. Got here and there was only one other person.

Now, however, there are about 30 people here! It’s the most I’ve seen so far. A lot of the people that came in had been in Gatlinburg. A couple named Kodiak & Sassy brought in hot dogs, little Debbies & pop for everyone! We gorged ourselves, thankful for the good food after missing out on town. Also, we heard from others there was Trail Magic @ Newfound Gap that we must have missed. We were bummed, but the hot dogs made up for it. Now I have a gut ache, just like I’d been @ the buffet or something.

Ah, the joys of stomach shrinkage…