It’s Not Just A Hike… It’s an Adventure!

May 4th, 2012 by rlarue

So, I’ve been off the trail a second time with more back pain… This time one of my first stops was to see a doctor again; and, get another treatment. I also started more stretching and abdominal work. Concurrently, being off the trail for a longer period of time (six weeks) afforded me additional time to do some other important things. It’s worth realizing that at this time in my life I have (seemingly) more responsibilities and timely things to do and/or get done, then in 1972 (my thru hike); or in 2005 (my 660 mile hike).

Frankly, I’m not complaining… I have come to realize that this sabbatical leave has afforded me both the time and opportunity to do a number of things (to date) that I really enjoy, or wanted to do. Let me be very clear… After my thru hike in 1972, I completed an Undergraduate Thesis ( six credits) in the Individual Honors Program at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). When putting together my thesis, I wrote an essay entitled: “I go to the woods not to get away from people, but to get with myself.”

My reality from that time in my life has evolved; but, the foundation of this belief still remains… What is newest now, is a genuine appreciation for my life as it exists today! I love teaching and mentoring…watching young men and women often exceed their expectations of who they thought they would become. I have a passion for family, but also for good friends. This passion has made me a better person because of who “they” are. And, more than ever before, I appreciate what I can do, rather than regret what I can’t.

This spring, semester-long sabbatic leave, has afforded me the opportunity to do a number of things; more than I could have ever asked for. I have and will continue to hike: perhaps in the future less long-distance hiking; and, more section or day hikes. But, I am and will continue my hiking. I was able to visit my parents and family in Iowa; my Mother turned 89 years old in February, and my Father turned 90 in March (my trip for my Dad’s celebration was a surprise). I was able to celebrate Michael’s birthday with his sister, Aimee and my wife Betsy, in Worcester, MA. I attended a national conference (in Boston) for a few days and enjoyed seeing my favorite peers, from all over the US, I’ve also been back on the UNE campus meeting with students, my colleagues, and even a few prospective students. And, I did a few projects “around the house.” As I stated earlier, I’m not complaining! What fun…interspersed with some blood, sweat and tears.

Today, I find myself reflecting-upon and sharing-some of what I have been up to, while off the AT. It seems like the right thing to do, as I am (while writing this blog) heading-back to the AT (at Stecoah Gap, NC) for the second time this spring. Note: I was originally planning to head back a week earlier; a shared ride was delayed and then unfortunately cancelled.

However, a new plan came together:

Take the Downeaster (Amtrak) from Saco, ME to Boston, MA (two hours) Saturday, 04/14

Take the “T” from Boston’s North Station to South Station (one-half hour) Saturday, 04/14

Take Greyhound/PeterPan busses from Boston’s South Station to Knoxville, TN (25 hours) Saturday, 04/14 to Sunday, 04/15 Hitch from Knoxville, TN to Robbinsville, NC Sunday, 04/15 to Monday, 04/16.

Hitch from Robbinsville, NC to Stecoah Gap Tuesday, 04/17 and continue Hiking north

Here’s how it worked-out: The travel and connections were great from Maine to South Station; the 25 hours on three different buses (with transfers) made for a long trip; but, I’d do it again if I needed to. When I arrived in Knoxville at 5:00 pm I was offered a ride to the Knoxville-Alcoa Airport (area) for $30 and a ride to Robbinsville, NC for $140.

Needless to say, I was up to the challenge… I walked about five miles to where I could hitch. Then I got a great ride with a father-daughter, who went out-of-the-way to drop me near Maryville, TN (a few miles beyond the airport). I walked until 8:00 pm (a nice Alcoa Police Office said I could continue walking along the road, but I couldn’t solicit rides). So, around 8:00 pm I decided to stop for dinner at the Smokey Mountain Brewery. While eating dinner I was able to locate a Days Inn that was back closer to the airport; but, they came to the restaurant and brought me back to their Motel.

The next day I had to make-up the milage I lost, going back to the Days Inn. However, I still made it all the way to Robbinsville (walking at least another 12 miles). In Robbinsville, I stayed overnight at the Microtel. And, after stopping at the US Post Office on Tuesday morning, I was able to catch a Ride to Stecoah Gap, by 10:00 am!









May 4th, 2012 by rlarue

Thursday, February 23: I was up early, and ready to get back to the trail! After getting everything packed-up, I was out of my room, checked-out at the office, and by the roadside waiting for a ride (hitching again) at 8:30 am. Within 15 minutes I had a ride and was on my way to Dick’s Creek Gap. The young man who picked me up was an avid outdoorsman with a real appreciation for positive recreational use of leisure time… A great combination! In another 20 minutes I was at the Gap, and thanking him for his kindness.

I began this next section of hiking with mixed feelings. Part of me was more than ready to be hiking again; another part of me was feeling anxious and concerned about my back. And then there was that feeling that sometimes arrises, questioning whether or not returning to the hike was the right decision.

There is a tremendous difference between a decision to attempt a section hike and the commitment to begin (or continue) a thru-hike. Minimally, the commitment to a thru hike is significant (both physically and mentally). The decision comes with many unknowns and only a limited number of aspects you can control. I like to say (or write) that at some point as a thru-hiker (in 1972), I become extremely good at managing those things I could control; and also, become reasonably good at accepting those things that I could not.

As I’ve grown older, I seem to have less patience for those things that I can’t do anything about. Therefore, this is one aspect of my hike that I need to accept more readily. A simple example is that I may plan to hike to a shelter located 12 miles up the trail, only to determine that I need to stop hiking sooner… (because I underestimated the challenge of the terrain; there was a significant change in the weather; the availability of drinking water along the trail makes going the 12 miles less than reasonable, etc.). Stopping sooner than planned may be the right or necessary thing to do; but, it also forces you to adjust your plans…

The distance to Plumorchard Gap Shelter (the first shelter north of Dick’s Creek Gap) was 4.5 miles. Although I arrived by 1:00 pm, I wanted to ease back into the hike. And, even though I was feeling pretty good, I had noticeably strained my gastrocnemius (calf) muscle on my left leg the day before; while hitching (during times I walked backwards). So, Plumorchard Gap Shelter became home, my first night back on the AT!

I shared the shelter with two other men; one who was staying there a second night (“zeroed” that day at the shelter) and, another who arrived sometime after I did. This second hiker, “Swagman,” is an experienced hiker who annually takes to the Trail in the spring. He particularly seems to enjoy meeting other hikers and spending his time in the out-of-doors. The night was comfortable and my sleep was only briefly interrupted by coyotes “getting together” and howling. There may have only two, but it sounded like a half dozen or so… 4.5 miles for the day and 74.1 miles total.

Friday, February 24: This morning began with a bright sun; making my decision to wear shorts and a short-sleeve shirt seem reasonable. However, not long into the day, the sky clouded-over and the temperature began to drop. As I continued toward the North Carolina state line, there were a few sprinkles. At the NC-GA line (78.5 miles north) I stopped briefly for a self-portrait, only to have the sky open up into a downpour! Fortunately, directly up the hill from the sign was a large rock outcropping, where I took shelter, and had a snack. As suddenly as the rain began, it stopped; and, I was able to proceed to Bly Gap.

In 1972, Billy Taylor, George Dunn, and I camped out in this Gap. As I began walking across the gap, towards a widely photographed tree; there was a second downpour and I found myself seeking the limited shelter of this tree… By now the temperature was at least 10 degrees colder than when I first got dressed; and, I was thoroughly wet! However, the rain stopped again, allowing me to take a few photos and be on my way.

The hike out of Bly Gap is steep… and not much fun, but your body warms-up quickly. My destination, Muskrat Creek Shelter, was 2.8 miles further and gave me a total of 7.3 miles for the day. At the shelter, I quickly laid-out my pad and sleeping bag. It takes very little time for my body to cool off enough that I begin shivering uncontrollably. To mitigate this pre-hypothermic state, it’s easiest to get out of your wet clothes and into the sleeping bag! I did this and proceeded to rest (and even sleep) until a young couple arrived at the shelter.

Mike and Autumn grew up and went to college in Maine, only to move to Iowa where Mike works with his father. Their’s is an interesting contrast to me: growing up and going to college in Iowa, only to now live (going on 14 years) in Maine! We immediately “hit-it-off” and enjoyed the late afternoon and evening together. 7.3 miles for the day and 81.4 miles total.

Saturday, February 25: It was a genuinely cold night, dropping well below freezing. All my water froze and I had nothing else to carry water in (until the ice melted); so my hydration was completely dependent upon water sources along the trail, throughout this day. I left the shelter by 8:30 am and took a half hour break at Standing Indian Shelter (4.9 miles), prior to hiking on to Carter Gap Shelters at 12.5 miles (arriving at 2:47 pm). I was pleased that I stopped for a bit at Standing Indian Shelter. One evening back in 2005 I stayed in this shelter with “Train”, “Opa” and Bayley; three wonderful individuals. Bayley thru-hiked the AT that year. I understand that “Train” completed nearly one-half the AT, and “Opa”, though he had to get off because of a “shin splints” injury, at Davenport Gap (northern end of the Smoky Mountains); he managed to return to the AT and complete over 1600 miles!

My night at the newer of the two Carter Gap Shelters was again graced with the presence of Mike and Autumn. I believe it was this night that Mike thought he heard a bear, only to realize that it was me…snoring a bit? Sunday, February 26: I was up early again, this time only part of my water froze, and I was able to have plenty for breakfast and some for along the way. However, it was still a cold start… And, “getting myself going” afforded me a chance to warm up! My goal for the day was to hike up and over Albert Mountain to Wallace Gap (Old US 64). The 12.1 mile trek would bring me to the first of two locations providing reasonable road access to Franklin, NC.

In 1972 I injured my left ankle, just south of Wallace Gap; and, hitched into Franklin to have my ankle seen by a physician at the hospital (fortunately it was only sprained). At that time the road was US 64. Since then, a second road access became available as “Winding Stair Gap” US 64. This gap is another 3.1 miles north from the Wallace Gap.

I arrived at Old US 64 by 1:47 p.m. and proceeded to call Haven’s Budget Inn to see if I could get a shuttle (I would stay there the night, re-supply, and return to the AT the next day). I was told that the shuttle didn’t begin running until March 1st… A very big disappointment! So, I decided to hitch in to Franklin and stay someplace closer to the AT than the Budget Inn. Frankly, Ron Haven is known up-and-down the AT as an excellent host… And, he owns motels that cater to hikers, in both Hiawassee, GA and Franklin, NC. However, his motel wasn’t open when I was in Hiawassee, and the shuttle wasn’t operating when I wanted to get into Franklin… So, though I had enjoyed staying at Haven’s Budget Inn on my 2005 hike, it did not happen this time.

As I waited for my “ride possible” I saw a pick-up truck pull up with two familiar hikers in the back: Autumn and Mike. The truck’s driver had offered them a ride and when he got to where I was at the gap, he asked if I’d like one too? Soon enough we were rolling down the road, headed toward Franklin. And, though we offer to pay them, the driver and his lady friend wouldn’t hear of it…

In Franklin we were able to secure a couple rooms at the Microtel. We also enjoyed dinner together at Pizza Hut! I was able to clean-up, and wash some clothes (in the bathtub…they dried overnight in the room). Re-supply would have to wait for the morning, before I left to hitch back to the AT! 12.8 miles for the day and 106.7 miles total. Monday, February 27: I was ready to go fairly early, but still needed to re-supply; and, Three Eagles Outfitter was a promising stop along the way to a local grocery store. Unfortunately, the Outfitters didn’t open until 10:00 am (I wasn’t going to wait around).

On my way to the grocery store, a young lady in her car stopped at a traffic light, called over and asked if I needed a ride back to the AT? I told her I was headed that way, but needed to stop at the grocery store first. With that, she pulled over to where I was; had me put my pack in her car; and, drove me over to the grocery store. There she waited while I picked-up a few items and returned to her car. Within minutes I was on my way back to Old US 64 and the AT! I came to find out that this young lady and her boyfriend had recently thru-hiked the AT. The two met on the Trail, and decided to live together in Franklin so they could remain close to the AT. This ride was just another example of “trail magic”… After dropping me at back at The Old Route 64 Gap, she headed south (a few tenths of a mile) to Rock Gap Shelter; where (I understand) she posted some shuttle information, etc. for “north-bounders,” including her telephone number, should anyone need a ride… And, I took off northbound towards Winding Stair Gap (3.1 miles).

From Winding Stair Gap I continued hiking another 10 miles to Wayah Bald, where there is a beautiful stone tower with an incredible 360 degree view! At the tower, I met Rocketman who was kind enough to take my picture. After taking a few pictures myself, Rocketmann and I headed north from the tower to Wayah Bald Shelter (another .9 of a mile). We shared this shelter with Autumn and Mike when they arrived a bit later. That night the rest of the “gang” heard a wolf or two… while I slept right through the disturbance. 14.1 miles for the day and 120.6 total.

Tuesday, February 28: From Wayah Bald Shelter I hiked 3.6 miles and arrived in Burnington Gap, NC. At the gap I was pleased to see a familiar face from my 2005 hike: Bill Apple, now from Cincinnati, OH. Bill has been coming up to this location for a number of years, during the early spring. He provides Hikers with food, a warm place (when it it cold), and his fine company! Providing trail magic is only half of his purpose. He also helps maintain a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Shortly after I arrived and “settled-in”, Mike and Autumn showed-up and Rocketman followed a little later. I managed to stay from 9:43 to 11:20 am.

The balance of the day involved a “hump” up past Cold Spring Shelter (where my boots froze overnight in 2005); then over Copper Ridge Bald; and, down to Tellico Gap (4.8 miles). From there it was back up 1.4 miles to Wesser Bald (with incredible views from an observation tower); and, finally down .8 miles to Wesser Bald Shelter. On the tower, a number of pictures were taken (I also took a couple of videos). Looking both east and west, each some distance away, we observed three fires in forest areas. Later, at the shelter we experienced the smell of smoke and a light “shower” of cold ash. With some concern on all our minds and having more energy than the rest of us, Mike returned to the observation tower to determine that none of the fires noted earlier, were headed our way; which was a relief. 10.6 miles for the day and 131.4 miles total.

Wednesday, February 29: The morning began with a light rain that then remained fairly steady during the morning. Off hiking by 8:20 am, the trail was mostly down (all but .9 of 5.9 miles). I arrived at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) by 10:46 am. NOC is located at the very bottom (US 19 & 74) in an area that used to be called (in 1972) Wesser,NC. At that time there existed only a gas station and market (no telephone). In 1972, George, Billy, and I wanted to make telephone calls. So, a nice man with a pick-up truck took the three of us up in the hills to a house, where the owner let us make collect calls; then returned us to the store. The same year, NOC was born…

Given the rain, and the fact that I had taken a pretty good tumble at one point; I decided to stay over in one of the bunkhouses. Mike and Autumn also remained at NOC. After a hot shower and laundry detail, I settled into the my bunkhouse (I had it to myself) and then headed to the “Rivers End” Restaurant where I spent no less than five hours (two meals) and worked on my blog, emails, etc. The location of the restaurant is just as it’s name suggests. Sited adjacent to the river, so close that at times you’d feel like you were mo ing and the water was stationary! It continued to rain all day, and there were thunderstorms that evening; so I did not regret my decision to stay over at NOC. 5.9 miles for the day and 137.3 miles total.

Thursday, March 1: Unfortunately I didn’t sleep as well as I’d hoped. My back was sore from the fall on Wednesday, and I just hadn’t gotten very comfortable! However, I was packed and on my way by 7:34 am. The climb out of this gap initially amounts to a gain of 2964 feet in 5.6 miles, before there is a swag of 2.3 miles; and gain of another 800 feet before reaching Cheoah Bald. Besides the breathtaking views from Cheoah Bald, the fact that the four hour hike to the top is over, makes this place even more special.

I decided to spend a few minutes this summit… I was able to chat briefly with Mike Honeycut, a USFS crew member out of Hot Springs ,NC, who was on top of Cheoah Bald observing the ongoing activities of the Forest Service in that area of North Carolina. I came to understand that the past Monday there were a couple of forest fires. After putting these fires out, the Forest Service had moved into a prevention mode and were setting up “back-burns” to help avoid further fires. I also had enough of a signal to call my daughter Aimee, and let her know where I was.

Leaving the top a few minutes later, I began a mostly downward hike with some small peaks every mile or so until I arrived at Stecoah Gap; 5.5 miles (three hours) from the top of Cheoah Bald. I was exhausted…and everything hurt: my feet, by legs, my shoulders, and especially my back! Knowing that to the west of the gap (approximately eight miles) is the town of Robbinsville, NC; I decided to hitch into town and find a place to stay. I managed a ride after about 20 minutes, and enjoyed the ride (in the back end of the truck) right to the town’s center.

Minutes later I was checked-in at a Microtel,in my room, and washing my clothes as I took a shower. This likely sounds strange; but, you throw all the dirty clothes in the tub, close the drain, and soap up while agitating the clothes with your feet. Then a few minutes later you rinse and wring-out the clothes; and, finally rinse off yourself. You can dry off and then take care of the damp clothes; strategically placing them in the bathroom and near the air heating/cooling unit. Dinner was at Lynn’s Cafe, a short walk up a small hill. I thoroughly enjoyed the salad bar (all you can eat) and a “bottomless” soda (Robbinsville is in the only “dry county” in NC). And, there is a 5% discount off your meal if you let them know you are staying at the Microtel! Once back in the room I fell asleep easily! 13.4 miles for the day and 150.7 miles total.












Sidebar: Important Acknowledgements

March 26th, 2012 by rlarue

Before I continue describing my experiences, I believe it important that I acknowledge the essential support of friends and family; and, the unique contribution of a local Maine business, to this “Anniversary Hike.”

My wife Betsy, remains at home in Maine, managing bills, our property, pets, and my essential mail drops; all the while, working full-time. My daughter Aimee, in New Hampshire (backpacked a 300+ mile section of the Appalachian Trail with a friend… they were “Thelma and Louise” in 2006) supports my efforts with a true understanding of the challenges. My son Michael puts up with my limited communication while concurrently managing his studies in Engineering and playing Ultimate Frisbee on the “A” Team at WPI. I have parents, a brother and two sisters who are all in touch with me as I hike; as well as well as Hank (Betsy’s father) and Shane (Betsy’s son). Finally, I have some wonderful friends and understanding students who manage to keep me in synch with my usual life activities!

The “local” business is a company that has provided me with a unique backpack and a number of “stuff” sacks, as I continue my journey. When Mike St. Pierre learned that I had been hiking on the Appalachian Trail… but, was having some back issues; he immediately launched into action! We got together, only a day before I was heading-back south (eventually to Dick’s Creek Gap) and he worked with me to significantly downsize my pack weight.

Besides helping me re-value everything I was carrying (purpose + function vs item weight) Mr. St. Pierre offered me one of his extremely lightweight Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) backpacks. Together we re-packed all my essentials into his stuff sacks and then into his uniquely engineered pack. The immediate result was a backpack weighing under 30 pounds (without water). This was at least 15 pounds lighter (also without water) than what I had been carrying walking into his shop!

Even before getting back on the AT, I knew that this lighter pack would certainly make a positive difference on my experience. The pack (see image below) is made of “Cuben” fibers and works like a compression bag (straps lock and pull down on both sides). It also offers one pocket internally and three pockets on the outside (each made of netting). I use the outside pockets to hold my water, snacks, and my IPad. The hip belt also has two small pouches that are easily accessible without taking off the pack. You can access additional information regarding this pack and other HGM products at:

As I continue hiking, its my intention to share a wide range of information regarding the Appalachian Trail and long-distance hiking. When sharing my own perspective and/or opinion, the reader should expect me to state this as such (up front). When sharing other opinions or perspectives, I will be sure to cite my sources. Cheers!


Home and Back

February 29th, 2012 by rlarue

Tuesday: February 7 through Tuesday, February 22 Because I expected some pain (muscles, feet, back, etc.) related to hiking, as I went through the early days of my hike; I wasn’t necessarily surprised that I was actually experiencing some. My concern was mostly focused upon whether the back pain represented possible irreversible damage. At that point I felt I needed to get home to Maine; and get some solid medical advice. Most noteworthy in this effort were people who came to my immediate assistance.

I had met Mike and Brenda at breakfast my “slack” day when I stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Hiawassee. We happened to meet again on Tuesday morning and after chatting a few minutes, they found out that I planned to head to Atlanta and fly back to Maine. I found out that they lived a bit south of the Atlanta airport, and were willing to take me to the airport on their way back home. Needless to say, such kindness and good fortune was just what I needed! Within 15 minutes, we were on our way…and by 10:30 p.m. I was being met by my best friend “Matty G” at the Portland, ME Jetport!

The next two weeks went very fast! I was able to schedule two visits with my Primary Care Physician, for Osteopathic Manipulation. Additionally, I met with a second Physician for his opinion (including digital X-ray scans). With a better understanding of my back issues, the reassurance that I was not doing permanent damage to my back, and how to best manage any issues in the future; my focus turned to getting back to the Trail.

After a couple more days I was able to make arrangements (leaving on Sunday, February 19) to drive Gail’s car to to NC from Quincy, MA. Sunday, February 19th I took the Downeaster train from Wells, ME to Boston’s North Station. There, I was met by Gail’s friend, who took me to Quincy, MA and gave me the key to her car and directions to I-93. The drive itself was uneventful, with an overnight stay near Baltimore-Washington International Airport in a Microtel; the final destination being Carolina Beach, NC. I was met by Gail who set-me-up at another Microtel for the night; and, gave me some additional funds to cover my out-of-pocket expenses and a bus ticket to Greenville, SC. The next morning Gail drove me to the bus depot in Wilmington, NC and I spent nine hours traveling to Greenville, SC.

I had arranged to stay in Easley, SC (west of Greenville on routes 123/76) on Tuesday night. However, having arrived at 8:00 pm, I chose to take a taxi the 11 miles (instead of hitching) to the Jamison Inn. On Wednesday morning I began hitching towards Dick’s Creek Gap (87.7 miles). I avoided hitching in towns, as in some municipalities this is illegal. I got my first ride a few miles west of Easley and this brought me to the east side of Clemson, SC. I walked through Clemson and about three miles west where I got a ride from a Clemson University’s free shuttle service bus to west Seneca, SC. After walking a few more miles west I got a third ride to Route 76, north of Westminster, SC. And, a half-mile north of that ride, I got my forth ride which took me into Clayton, NC. Between the generosity of these four rides and nearly 20 miles of road walking… I was ready to stop for the day. As I was within 100 yards of a Days Inn, I negotiated a night there and rested for the next day!




Back Pain

February 21st, 2012 by rlarue

Monday, February 6: Sometime in the middle of the night I woke to the sounds of drizzle. It seems a cloud decided to “park” itself over Tray Mountain; resulting in a cool and damp morning. The only item of mine that actually got wet was my food bag; suspended from one of the several steel cable, provided for just this purpose. The bag is waterproof, and everything inside was undisturbed. I fairly quickly got my things together, and was off hiking by 8:00 am.

Though the trail was damp, it wasn’t long before the clouds drifted on… I re-walked the 1.7 miles to Steeltrap Gap; stopped to take a picture (not that I expect to ever forget my mistake on the day before); continuing on toward Sassafras Gap (4.7 miles) and Addis Gap (5.6 miles). It was in Addis Gap that three young men: George Dunn, Billy Taylor and I, spent the night nearly 40 years earlier, in a small shelter on a rainy night (the shelter is no longer there). Little did we know how much our time together, early in our hiking, would later facilitate our individual efforts to complete the AT in 1972. For me, it was our friendship and collective support that sustained my own hike through much of the five months… even when we were no longer hiking together!

At 7.4 miles I arrived at the side trail (.3 miles) to Deep Gap Shelter (12:00 noon). I briefly thought about staying there…but with each mile my back was causing more discomfort. For several days, including my “slack” day, I had been sensing that my back was out of alignment. I am relatively prone to my sacrum “slipping-out”; and, if it stays out of alignment, the muscles will spasm and cause both low back discomfort and some nerve impingement. So, all I really wanted to do was get to Dicks Creek Gap!

From Deep Gap I had just another 3.6 miles to hike. This included a small gain in elevation, before dropping down from 3888 ft. to an elevation of 2675 ft. As soon as I arrived in the gap (2:00 pm), I was able to catch-a-ride from a nice man who was headed back into Hiawassee, GA. I was dropped-off at the Post Office and immediately headed-back to Daniel’s Steak House for a late lunch… The food was great, but by the time I checked-in at the Holiday Inn Express, my stomach was as upset as my back was in pain!

I rested for a while, and then began to consider my options. As I wasn’t exactly sure what to do, I went ahead and washed my dirty clothes in the bathtub, then cleaned- up myself. A quick stop to the hotel’s dryer ensured that I was all set in terms of my clothing. I also aired-out my sleeping bag as it had been very slightly damp from the night before, when I stuffed it into it’s stuff sack and tied it to my pack frame. I left the hotel and walked over to the IGA. There I purchased a ready-made sandwich and a couple of snacks. Eating the sandwich and snacks made me feel better, and shortly before 9:00 pm I was in bed asleep. 11 miles for the day; 69.6 on the AT



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