Appalachian Trail Journals 08-06-03

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

Entry #111 – August 6, 2003

8:25 PM – After we left Sages Ravine, we pretty much cruised. We got a later start, and were supposed to meet Semi @ 4:00 @ the outfitter in Great Barrington. Having to hike fast to get somewhere @ a certain time really bugs me, but we tried our best. (Man, this new pen sucks!!!) About a half-mile from the road into town we crossed a smaller road. As we went into the woods we noticed a van coming down the road. When it passed the trailhead, the driver yelled out the window. I turned around, and it was Semi – he hunted us down!!!

He drove us to his parent’s place in CT where we stayed for the next 2 nights. We had a great time with him and his family! We ate a lot, drank some, did errands, watched tv: The ultimate Trail vacation. We really got a kick out of his two pet pigs, too. How funny they were! One even did tricks. We had some good talks about the trail. It was kind of sad hearing Semi talk about it, though, and how disappointed he is that he quit.

Well, he brought us back today, and, to be truthful, I was not happy about being back. I am really having a rough time being out here lately. I’ve had enough of it all. It’s actually turned into more work than fun. I can not give up, though. Less than 700 miles left.

The day only got worse, though. Stopped for a break after about 6 miles and then set off to do another 5. After 1 mile or so we started hearing thunder rumbling. We hiked faster thinking we’d beat it. We were not so lucky. With less than a mile to our destination, the skies let loose. With every step it was getting darker & the thunder louder. We reached a ravine and then all hell broke loose. The lightning was crashing down so close and the thunder was deafening. It got so bad we decided we better get our packs with the tarp over us. What brought us to that decision was a hit so close that I knew it was coming. My teeth were “buzzing,” though now I’m not sure if it was from the coming hit or me just hyperventilating. God, was I shaking. I could hardly control myself. Andy was very calm and reassuring, Thank God. We were soaked from head to toe, but we made it out alive. At one point in there I thought I was done with this whole thing for sure. But now we’re in a dry (although crappy) shelter with some nice guys. It’s bedtime and I think we’ll try again tomorrow.