|Sunset at the Summit
Blood Mountain, Georgia
Day 8: March 31, 1997
The Blueberry Patch Hiawassee,
Incredible! Lots of friends from the trail, a real
bed, shower, laundry done for you, breakfast... all for $15. I don't
deserve this. Got lots of postcards done, called Mom & Dad.
Went into Hiawassee (not home to the college) for groceries and
dinner. Hitched a ride back... first time for that.
Gary and Lennie bought the blueberry farm five years
ago and run an organic farm and hiker hostel. If there are nicer
people alive, I haven't met them. Here with Blind Faith, Bones,
Brother Paul, Redman, Mr. Lipton and Hidalgo. Gonna try for Muskrat
Gap shelter and North Carolina line tomorrow.
Day 9: April 1, 1997
Muskrat Creek Shelter
Great breakfast at the Blueberry Patch. Pancakes,
sausage, cheese biscuits. Can't believe how nice Gary and Lennie
are. Got a late start on the trial... about 10am. Some hikers Technicolor
and Trail Mouse left two Killians on a picnic table at the trailhead.
Lipton, Hidalgo, Red and I shared. Red's about 50, always wears
red. Really nice guy.
Made it to the North Carolina line this afternoon.
Took some pics. Now, if I quit no one can say I didn't even make
it out of Georgia. Got to shelter around . About 12 miles... lots
of real steep stuff after the North Carolina line. Brother Paul
was already here along with Jenny... a 40-or-so year old from South
Africa. Nice shelter. Nice dinner. Nice day. Gonna try for Beech
Gap and maybe a bit more tomorrow. Right knee gave me some trouble
today. Oh, Brother Paul's a Buddhist monk from New Hampshire...
traveled through monasteries across the country.
Day 10: April 2, 1997
Camping near Carter Gap Shelter
Only appropriate that I'd be here on Matt's birthday.
Couldn't call... guess he understands. Shelter's pretty crappy so
I'm camping nearby. Lipton, Hidalgo, Jenny and another guy are here.
Having doubts about whether I want to go all the way. I know
I can, but I think I'll be getting bored soon. Maybe I'll change
my goal to somewhere in Virginia or Harpers Ferry.
Songs I've been humming to pass the time or make
it up steep climbs:
- Star Wars Theme (Imperial March works great on steeps)
- Dukes of Hazzard
- America by Simon and Garfunkel
- Ashokan Farewell
- Knight Rider
- St. Elsewhere
- NBC News Theme
- End of the World as We Know It by REM
- Various Olympic themes by John Williams
- Indiana Jones
I also redesign WRAL's set in my head... including
that green laser glass map.
Day 11: April 3, 1997
Rock Gap Shelter
Easy 12 miles here. Another great day. Met Rin and
Stimpy... a guy from Philly and a girl from England. Jenny's here
too. Oh... get this... Shakespeare's taxi... they run booze into
North Georgia's dry counties.
I'm headed into Franklin in the morning. Can't wait
to eat, shower and watch TV. Getting dark. May not be as cold tonight.
Day 12: April 4, 1997
Henry's Motel Franklin, North
Written a few days late. Great stay in Franklin! lunch
at the B&D Restaurant, stopped by outfitters, bought food, beer
(Killians!), and got pizza for dinner. Technicolor & Trailmouse
are in the next room. Very basic lodging managed managed
by friendly, old, and blind Lois Gillespe. A little jamming going
on at the B&D that night. A big country hoedown... a for real
one where folks from Franklin just get together and get down...
not like the fake crap Gatlinburg puts on for yankees. Staying here
Day 13: April 5, 1997
Camping at Licklog Gap
Hiked out of Franklin with Lipton. Nice walk. Met
Hidalgo and Gugg along the way. Hidalgo went to Rainbow springs
to see his dad. Another Suddenly Salad for dinner. Lots of rain
overnight. Saw Stick and Amish Man headed in on our way out.
Day 14: April 6, 1997
A. Rufus Morgan Shelter
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! My only b-day present: rain. Lotsa
rain. Didn't stop till around noon. May get a Gore Tex jacket at
NOC for my birthday. Headed to NOC for breakfast. Ladybug, Otter,
Jason, Gugg, Mr Lipton and Hidalgo are here.
The crazy stuff that goes through your head while
hiking 15 miles: a new verse to The Highwayman...
I was a thru-hiker...
fighting the sun and the rain
Walking from Georgia north to Maine.
Two thousand miles above the world I left behind.
With absolutely nothing weighing on my mind.
Just where to eat, to sleep, and where to have some fun.
We were always having fun...
Hey, it entertained me while getting up some long
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