Appalachian Trail Journals 07-15-03

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

Entry #96 – July 15, 2003

8:50 PM – Overall, I liked staying at the Borough Hall, but am glad I fell asleep early while the light were still on. We were staying down in the basement where there were a bunch of bunks. I woke up around 2 in the dark and had a hard time getting back to sleep. It was downright creepy. Around that time I heard people shuffling around, and someone gasp out loud as if of fright! I was praying there wouldn’t be a reoccurrence of that night in the Smokies, with the screaming nightmare kid!!

In the morning, it was funny though, because Odwalla said he woke in the middle of the night to see a face right in front of him! He half screamed & realized it was just the person from the bunk below, standing up to go to the restroom or whatever. Speaking of which, I was hoping to God I didn’t have to pee in the middle of the night, and have to go upstairs into the dark, creaky, creepy hall. I’d have rather gone out the back door in the alley! Ha!

Well, we survived the night in the “Jailhouse.” Left around 9 & started walking towards the highway where we were hoping to get a ride back to the trail. Not even a block from the Hall, an old guy pulled over and offered a ride. We picked up Odwalla, too. The guy said he used to be the Mayor of the town and he was the one who started this whole free hiker hostel thing. Who knows – he seemed pretty out there! 🙂

Back at the trail, we immediately had to climb a 1,000-foot rocky cliff in the span of a half mile. There were some very steep spots where I was almost scared to turn around & look behind me. Had to climb hand over hand in a couple spots – not easy with a 35 pound pack! At this point, we were also in a mob – about 10 of us going up all at once, in a single file. Missed a good photo of the awesome view because of the guy practically stepping on my heels. Oh well, plenty of views this trip.

After that it was about 5 miles of ridgetop wasteland (from the zinc smelting or whatever). No water all day either, but our 2 liters apiece were enough. The rocks continued – glad they’ll be gone soon (out of PA).

Tenting up from the Leroy Smith Shelter. Weather has been great. Only a bit of rain, since the Shenandoah’s Yippee! Maybe a thunderstorm tonight or tomorrow, though.