Published: May 1st 2007May 1st 2007
OD - A new month! Been back on the trail for a week now and getting stronger every day. Had a good nights sleep with a few lightning storms in the distance as we went to sleep. Only had some strong winds go through the tree tops where we were and lots of thunder. Morning brought clear skys and sun. We managed to get everything packed in about 30 minutes, but it took almost an hour to cook breakfast, clean up the mess and hit the trail. The temp was near 65 degrees when our packs got cinched down.
The Calf Mountain Hut sits at 2,700', we headed to the top then down into Beagle Gap at 2,550'. From there it was over Bear Den Mountain, 2,885' that is covered in commercial radoi antennas. There were also some odd seats that took us a while to figure out. Old metal tractor seats welded to springs, aranged in a semi-circle with one centered and out front some 30'. Star gazers positions was the only thing that worked. There were no lights on the few buildings and only a few red blinkers on the towers. Regardless CC had a short break on one then we coutinued on. Coming down off Bear Den it was through McCormick Gap and up one of the steepest climbs of our hike yet. The trail seemed to go straight up a near vertical hill for some 500'. The trail leveled off for the last three to four miles and Rockfish Gap.
We stopped at the info center to call for a ride into town, but could not get one. As we started to walk a bit more down the road a mini van stops next to us and asks if we need a ride to town. We had just covered seven miles in four hours and the temp was in the high 70s. We accepted the ride with pleasure. The driver was "Guide Dog" and the passanger was "Borrowed Time". They are doing the trail as section hikers and were headed to town themselves. When you read books about the AT, they all talk of "Trail Magic". This is an example of it and how the system works. We have learned not to get too concerned over things, the Good Lord will always work out the details if you let Him. They are in their late sixties to mid seventies. "Borrowed Time" has cancer and is leagaly blind to mention only two of his medical issues. "Guide Dog" helps him down the trail. When they started in GA, BT could only cover about three miles a day. He is up and down with the strength issue and has!
done as much as seven miles in one day. When you meet folks like this it makes your few aches and pains seem trivial and gives you an idea of the inner strength of some hikers. They gave us a ride to the motel, waved goodby and headed for "McDonald's" and chow.
We got to town just after 1:30PM, cleaned up, put our town cloths on and headed out to a late lunch our selves. Back at the room there was gear stroon from one end to the other. We did a quick last analysis of what we had, needed, were sending home and what needed to be replaced. This is a never ending process. Called a cab and made a run out to the local mountain outfitter. CC tried to get her shoe issues fixed and I picked up a new sleeping pad and new socks. I have worn holes in two pair of socks in the first 160 miles. I picked up a new trail data book. My primary referance was the 2006 issue and some of the info about different palces is out of date, so I got the 2007 "Handbook" by "Wingfoot" one of the most used guidebooks on the trail. We received a ride back into town to the Post Office by another "Trail Angel". We had not been paying attention to the time and got there eight minutes after they had closed. Will have to pick up CC's warm weather sleeping bag tomor!
row when we mail all the cold weather gear home.
Time to go across the street to do a camera download and a first aid kit resupply. Sorted through all the pictures and ended up with 114 keepers. We do not use the display on the camera for taking pictures and are able to get over a weeks worth of pictures on one set of AA's. Needed to get some new blister protection stuff to help my heals recover. Back to the room and pick up our laundry then hike to the laundromat. Late again, one more item for early in the morning. Off to eat dinner. Most of the people we have met on the trail in the past few days have talked about the large amounts of food they put away while in town. I guess we have not been on the trail long enough yet. Still eating normally, soup and salad bar for the evening meal. Once done there it was a walk down to the grocery store (oper 24hrs) for the restock. Managed to get seven days food for just over $100. It looks like not enough, but after looking at myself in the pictures I need to go hungry more :-) !
My pack waist belt makes me look real big when I have it on and CC says she can see a differance. We got alot done today and will hit the trail again tomorrow.
Patrick, Deborah Mooney aka OD & CC
All Who Wander Are Not Lost