Appalachian Trail Journals 05-02-03

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

Entry #39 – May 2, 2003

Ended up in Erwin yesterday after a fairly easy day. Were planning on heading to the Super 8, but right off the trail was Johnny’s Hostel. Everyone had had bad things to say about the place & that he was a jerk. Walked up to the place to call the Super 8 for a shuttle & the lady outside asked if we’d like to see the cabin they had available for $27. Checked it out & decided to take it. It was a nice little private bunkhouse w/a TV, microwave & refrigerator. Showered in the bathhouse & lounged around for a while. We had been craving pizza, and the lady said she could shuttle us into town, so we headed out front to go to Pizza Hut. Then we met Uncle Johnny, who carried on about why the hell we would want to go to Pizza Hut when there are all these other great places. Whatever, Johnny. Well, we got to the Hut after all. Got the salad bar, breadsticks & a large pizza. Ended up taking most of the pizza with us, as our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. After, we went to the dollar store & grocery store to resupply our food. Got back to the room & watched movies & ate more. Rained off & on during the day, so we were glad to be in town. Had a good sleep, too.

In the morning we got a ride in for breakfast. Went to the library & some antique shops, etc. around town. Got a ride @ Erwin Burrito from Blaze & his dad. Left the hostel around 2. About a mile in we started hearing thunder rolling in. It was maybe another 15 minutes when I started to hear a rushing sound behind us. “I think we better put our rain jackets on NOW!” I said. Within a minute the rain started and the wind came roaring through the gap. I remembered all the signs we kept seeing, about watching for falling branches – pine beetles are killing all the trees. “We have to watch for falling limbs!” I yelled. The thunder & lightning kept on and I was not happy. We kept climbing higher and higher, much to our dislike. Lightning was cracking and it came to a point where we didn’t want to go any higher, so we waited. It seemed to be moving away after a while, so we continued cruising up the mtn. Finally got to Curly Maple Gap Shelter, and thankfully there was just enough room for the 2 of us. We’re here with 56, Katouri, 56’s brother, Cindy and Lion King. After we got here, tons of people came from the north, slackpacking back to Erwin from Iron Mtn Gap. The mice are out in full force, so it could be an interesting night. YUCK!