Friday, March 28, 2014

PICs & JOURNAL ENTRIES from 1st week on our AT Thru Hike 10 years ago

WEEK 1 - MARCH 23 - MARCH 30, 2004 
SEAN                            JEN
40 LBS     GOAL      35 LBS
50 LBS   ACTUAL    45 LBS
Sean tapping first white blaze of the AT.
Every morning from Springer to Katahdin,
hHe started our hike by tapping the 1st white
blaze we came across. 
 JOURNAL ENTRY - March 23, 2004
Springer Mt to Hawk Mt. Shelter

Total Miles = 8.5                Miles To Go= 2165.6

Here we are...our first night. 8.5 miles into a 2000+ mile hike. Today was the first day of a big adventure. We felt great at the beginning of the day as my Mom and big brother Scott hiked with us the first mile. After a few long hills and 2 hours later - on came the aches - hotspots, back pain, butt pain etc.... But it didn't stop us. You could 'hear' the determination in our silence.  Our rhythm was never broke. There wasn't a second or a step that went by today that Sean didn't amaze me and impress me. I could see it in his eyes how excited he was. Right from the start, as he held my hand and kissed me as we stepped onto the trail and took our first steps. 
We are in our tent now, about to call it a night - at 7:47 pm :-) only 5-7 hours earlier than we normally go to bed. It is quite cold tonight, in the 20's. Well, till tomorrow- lets hope we aren't too sore!

First Stream Crossing

JOURNAL ENTRY - March 24, 2004
Hawk Mt Shelter to Campsite
Today's Miles=10          
Total Miles = 18.5     
To Go = 2155.6
We planned to hike 7 miles today to Gooch Shelter. But we got there @1:30 and felt like there was so much day left. So we decided to keep hiking till we felt like stopping and found a flat spot to pitch our tent. We found the perfect place in this gap. No one else was there, very private - loved it. Last night sleeping wasn't too bad. A bit chilly for the first night out here. A bit confined. Have to get use to being in tight quarters in a tent - no king size bed anymore. Had instant coffee and pop tarts for breakfast, packed up camp and made a trip to the shelters PRIVY! Quite beautiful in an odd scary smelly way. The views from the toilet were amazing! Pooing has never been so scenic. Blisters starting to form today. At camp tonight, we had a very nice fire and enjoyed the evening at camp. Tomorrow should be interesting - no privy - will have to dig a hole.


JOURNAL ENTRY - March 25, 2004
Campsite to Blood Mt Shelter
Today's Miles = 11.5      Total Miles = 30     To Go = 2144.1
Cold night last night, was up off and on so didn't get much sleep. Woke up with a bad case of vertigo and still feeling dizzy. The elevation changes today were unreal - who knew Georgia had such amazing huge mountains. The legs & feet are doing horrible. Feet are on fire, blisters and feel like bones are sticking out of my feet. My muscles feel like I did a marathon the day before and doing one the next day and the next day and the next and so on. We toughed out the day ending at Blood Mt. What a beautiful site it is from up here on top of this mtn. A cool Stone Shelter, with so many large boulders and cliffs to enjoy the views from. The sunset over the mountain peaks was a vision I will have forever iin my mind. Those that didn't make it up here tonight really missed out. Good Night.

JOURNAL ENTRY = March 26, 2004 (my Birthday :-)
Blood Mt Shelter to Boggs Creek Camp
Today's Miles = 5.8       Total Miles = 35.8      Miles To Go = 2138.3
Short hike today. Yesterday just about killed us. I will always remember the sunset at Blood Mtn. But that's not it - OH NO! We didn't sleep much. Nope. And not because of people. Around 12:30 am, I was hearing little noises. Nothing much, but enough to keep me awake. At one point, felt like something real little and light jumped on my sleeping bag. But that is only the beginning. 2:30 am, a lot of shuffling around by the back packs and scratching noises. Sean heard it too. Hmmmm I wonder what it is? Sean clicked on his headlamp at our packs and wouldn't you know it we were looking at a Rats Fat Ass sticking out of my pack. YUCK!!!! Whimper whimper. Sean scared it out of the shelter and we saw a bunch of little mice too. Im sure the mice were what was jumping on me. oh way I was falling back asleep. 2 hours later-more noises. We assumed the rat was back. Sean put his light on again ready to scare it away, but it was not the rat...oh was a SKUNK!!! So we sat quietly and let the skunk leave on its own. Morning finally came, after no sleep, we cooked breakfast (instant oatmeal), packed up, put on our damp clothes from the dew. Today is my birthday....until the afternoon it was not the greatest. We hiked 3 miles into Neels Gap where we came to a Hostel and outfitter on the trail at a road crossing. We stayed there for about 4 hours - took a shower, ate ice cream and washed out clothes. Suddenly my birthday was turning out brighter. Sean put a candle in a pint of ice cream for me. It was so sweet and so special. At camp we met many new hikers. heard an owl as we all sat by the campfire. So, today ended up being a great day, after a dreadful night and morning.

MARCH 30, 2004
75.4 miles down 2098.7 To Go


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