Journals From A 2003 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (by Loony)
Entry #31 – April 22, 2003
8:30 PM – Last night went from one of the best to absolutely the most horrible. When I got into my sleeping bag, the older couple next to me said, “Just to warn you – we snore quite a bit!” Well, OK, that’s fine. You have to put up with all kinds of snoring @ the shelters. Then, just as everyone was settling in, one of a group of 3 high school seniors who were also on the top bunk says, “Just to let everyone know, this kid sleeping next to me has ‘night terrors.’” We all were just kind of like – OK, whatever. It didn’t take long to fall asleep, even with the snorers.
The next thing I know, I was yanked from a deep sleep into the pitch black by someone yelling bloody murder. I sat bolt upright, not being able to see anything and I was yelling too, I think. “What the hell is going on!?!?!” My first thought was someone was being attacked by a bear, or God knows what! It took me awhile to remember the “warning” we got when going to sleep. I could hear one of the kids comforting the yeller. Well, there was no way in hell I could sleep after that. I checked my watch and it was before 1 AM. I lay there for probably an hour, when he started again. This time it wasn’t just yelling, but sounded like he was speaking in tongues or something! I laid there the rest of the night, unable to sleep, thinking that any moment I was about to have the crap scared out of me again!!! That was it for the night, though, and it was around 5 AM when I started dozing off again. What a total nightmare. In fact, I guess it is nightmares – every night. People had witnessed it at other shelters, as those kids have been out a week or whatever. Needless to say, I wanted to get as far away from that shelter as possible, and guess what? We ended up doing about 20 miles today! We made up for our lazy day yesterday, and we should be out of the Smokies tomorrow. It’s too bad that it’s been so foggy, cause we really missed a lot of great views today. Also, we caught up with Hepcat and Radar at this shelter (Cosby Knob) tonight, too. Actually, we’re all tenting (along w/many others) because the place is so full. Tomorrow we’ll probably hit Mountain Moma’s to resupply a bit and maybe take a shower! Then it’s off to Hot Springs, maybe by Saturday – Yippee!
Note: I forgot to add that when leaving Ice Water Springs Shelter in the morning, there were 2 Cokes left in the spring, so we took one. We realized we’d feel dumb showing up @ the next place w/a Coke & everyone would be jealous. So, we downed it in about 2 seconds on the trail & burped like pigs! :^)