Appalachian Trail Journals 08-03-03

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

Entry #110 – August 3, 2003

7:50 PM – In the tent again…relish the stink, the clamminess, the pruned feet and sweat soaked shirt as I lay back on my damp, smelly sleeping bag. Relish the wet hair, the greasy skin, the reeking clothes and pack, the miniature tent, the sound of the rain pattering constant, constant, constant. Enjoy it while lasts – must remember to enjoy it while it lasts.

A short hike into Salisbury this morning. Dry, too. The thunder rumbled last night, but nothing ever materialized – nice & calm. Except we could hear a band or just loud music, playing down in the valley. Fell asleep imagining a street dance or festival going on below, with eating and drinking and dancing and laughing.

Once in town we bought our groceries and some junk food for breakfast. Another yuppie town with rich folk milling about. Before we left, Andy decided to call Semi – our old hiking friend from back in Georgia. I think he made it through the Smokies before he got off. Anyway, we remembered he lives in CT. We got a hold of him & he was glad to hear from us! He’s actually going to come pick us up tomorrow in Great Barrington, MA. It should be a nice diversion.

Anyway, left town around 1:00 or so and hiked up to the Brassie Brook Lean-To for a break. We found Ace there relaxing in his hammock. The skies were looking like rain, so he decided to wait it out. We sat there for 2 hours, waiting on the weather. It rained some, thundered and saw a flash of lightning or two, but it never seemed close or severe.

Finally decided to move on – had to do more miles today in order to reach town tomorrow. The only thing was, we had a climb over Bear Mtn ahead of us, with what we’d read was a steep, rocky, wicked descent after.

Wouldn’t you know, we got a mile down the trail and the thunder & lightning were back. This was not a mountain to be on in a storm. At the top there were bare rock stretches, and low, shrubby growth…God, I hate lightning. We raced over the top, and I pretty much dove to the ground with every flash or crash. Andy was telling me to calm down, but I couldn’t help it. It is my worst fear in nature! After the peak came the climb down. What a horrible place to be in the rain, let alone a storm. The rocks were very slick. Some I had to sit down on to lower myself far enough. Too vertical for me.

But, we made it down. Andy said I conquered my fear, but I told him I didn’t think so, cause I’m still scared. He said I won that battle, anyway. We ate at Sages Ravine Campsite. The rain continues. Hopefully it will let up by morning.

Andy just came in, took his socks off and I told him they smell like garlic bread…How odd…

Oh yeah, we’re in MA now…