Appalachian Trail Journals 05-28-03

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

Entry #59 – May 28, 2003

8:40 AM – Had a hard time sleeping @ Woodshole, because I kept waking up in anticipation of the breakfast bell – it was like I was waiting for Christmas morning, ha ha! It sure was a comfortable night’s sleep, though. The bunkhouse loft had mattresses laid out (covered in plastic, of course) and they sure felt luxurious.

7 AM came and we heard the clanging of the bell. At 7:30 it rang again and we all headed inside. Tillie had us all sit down at the table (after saying Grace, of course) and she and her granddaughter & grandd’s friend brought out the food. We had eggs, sausage, grits, and biscuits & gravy. Up until this point I had managed to avoid trying grits, but of course we had to clean our plates here. I don’t think I’ll be eating them ever again. The rest was great, though, and we had all the biscuits we could eat. We all talked and Tillie told us some stories over the next hours or so. It was a wonderful time.

Afterwards we gathered our stuff and started the 10 miles into town. The hike was fairly easy and uneventful. It rained for awhile, of course, just like always, it seems. Didn’t care, though, since we were headed into town! We got to the overlode areas before descending, into Pearisburg, and the fog had rolled in so we weren’t able to see much. It was a couple of slick, muddy miles down, then. Steep, too – we practically skiied(?) the whole way down. Luckily, I only fell once, ha ha!

Once we got down to the beginning of town, I was looking for landmarks, according to the map in my “Companion” book. From what I could tell, we had to cross over the river, etc. before getting to the motel.

We began crossing roads and heading into the woods over & over, wondering when the hell we were going to get to town. Crossed the river, an industrial place, a highway and then went into the woods again. It was probably almost a mile and we were wondering what was going on! Andy was way ahead of me, and I started yelling for him to stop. I heard him talking, then, up ahead. He had run into Odyssey & Fox, who were breaking on the Trail. Apparently, we were supposed to turn into town way back when we crossed the first road!!! I looked at the map in the book again, and realized that it showed “north” pointing to the left, not up. ARGGGHH! What could we do, but turn around and start walking. Took us about 45 minutes to get back to the Rendevous Motel where we had planned on staying. It was full. We then had to walk another half mile into town to find a place to stay. Frustrating for all the walking, but now we’re up by everything and don’t have to walk that half mile just to get to the store or post office.

Relaxed some and ate @ Pizza Hut with Loser, Woods, Mothman and Bilgy.

Was able to talk to my mom & dad last night. They were in Duluth in preparation for his surgery today. It’s just after 8 there now, so everything should be underway. I hope someone calls as soon as possible this afternoon to let me know everything’s OK.

7:45 PM – A lazy day in town. Went shopping and did laundry. We went a bit overboard @ the grocery store, I think. We have 7-plus days of food spread out and covering the entire bed. I am wondering how we’re going to fit it all in our packs, much less carry it. There must be 5 lbs of Pop-Tarts alone. Sounds like rain tomorrow, so I’m sure we won’t be too excited about getting on the Trail!

Heard from Mom and it sounds like everything went pretty well at the hospital today. Dad will be in Intensive Care overnight, I think, but all should be OK. Wish I could’ve been home to be with him and everyone – I feel very out of touch with reality out here. It’s a strange way.