Tollhouse Gap
Day: 1-2002
Mileage: 707.9
06/03/02 7:09 pm



Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
729U.S. 11, Norfolk Southern Railway (1,300') Troutville, Va. 24175 1300
729.5Va. 652, Mountain Pass Road (1,450') 1450
Boy I went the wrong way and I wasn't even stoned. More on that in a minute.

Back on the trail again after being droped off by my parents. They drove me from Charlotte NC to toutville where we ate at the Cracker Barrel and then whent off in search of the trail. I was sure there was an AT sign at the road crossing but I was mistaken. We ended up asking at the Best Western where I finished my '96 hike and they said it was just after the bank or, if you pulled around to the back of the hotel and followed the fence line to the corner there was a trail there. I found it, took a hero shot with mom and then took off IN THE WRONG DAMN DIRECTION (start time around 2pm). I didn't know this because I knew I was suposed to cross railroad tracks and I did (latter realizing that there were tracks in BOTH DIRECTIONS). I met my first hiker (Now-Or-Never I latter Learned) who said he started at Springer and was GOING INTO TROUTVILLE. I think he knew I was hiking in the wrong direction, but to his credit just hinted at it. When it sunk in, I checked the map and OH SHIT I Hiked about 2 miles the Wrong Way! So I turned around realizing what a stupid mistake that was, but at least one one can accuse me of cutting corners (Purist all the way... yah right!). After hiking an extra 4 miles, I decided not to attempt that last climb to the shelter. It was getting late, I am very tired (because I am really out of shape for this). I do have a blister on my right foot (usual sport just behind the bit toe) and was getting a bad headach. Bad thing though, no water source and I am running low (1/2 qrt left). Good news nice breese and no midsquitose.

P.S. glad I brought sun screen, I put it on half way through the day and it saved my butt.

P.P.S. saw a black snake on the trail while hiking the wrong way. Saw a thru hiker, a group (maybe thru hikers slackpacking Not sure) and one guy with a GPS unit mapping the trail to an accuracy of 1 meter!

06/04/02 6:12 am

Slept ok I guess. Found I slept in two big chunks: from about 8:30pm to 1:45am when a thunderstorm woke me up. Little rain, but quit a light show and thunder that rolled and rolled. Then I slept from maybe 2:30am till now. Still feel I got no sleep.

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Fullhardt Knob Shelter
Mileage: 709.4
06/04/02 7:56 am

Fairly good hiking time from camp to here. No water (water is from a roof runoff collection system and it was dry. Must move on, out of water.




Wilson Creek Shelter
Day: 2-2002
Mileage: 715.7




Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
732.5Fullhardt Knob Shelter (2,676') ?14.4mS; 6.2mN 2676
735.3USFS 191, Salt Pond Road (2,260') 2260
736.1Curry Creek (1,680') 1680
738Wilson Creek (1,690') 1690
738.7Wilson Creek Shelter (1,830') ?6.2mS; 7.5mN 1830
06/04/02 7:16 pm

Hiked here in pretty good time. even with a long break at Curry Creek. I woke up at about 6:30 and not having more than 1 cup of water to my name I started off down the trail with little in the way of breakfast. The shelter was further than I thought, so it was a good thing I stopped were I did. Sure enough there was no water there and I couldn't find the "Unmarked trail to a spring" anywere. So I just plugged on until Curry Creet where I took a VERY long break, during which I drank 2+ quarts of water, made a dinner, and watched the wildlife including a water mocicine (juvinile) crawl all over my water filter. Must have been there 2 or more hours when I pressed on. Just about a mile away from the shelter it started to drizzle. Go to the shelter, two were here and more and more people started showing up. They all ate dinner and pressed on to the next shelter. Now here with two thru hikers writting this. Good day but much warmer than yesterday.

On the medical front: two new blisters including a huge one one the outside part of my left foot. Also my left anckle is killing me on down hills. See how it is in the morning. It probably didn't helt that I was so dehydrated this morning.

06/05/02 9:18 am

Well with everyone coming and going I really do not know who stayed the night, but I met a bunch of thru hikers.

Everyone started hiking but me now. I feel like such a slacker, them doing 14 - 20 miles a day and all, but I know I am not reary for those kind of days yet.

I went to bed early last night, but woke up often, partly due to pains and parlty do to all the comotion. A fire was built, lots of talk, and my personal favorite fireworks (Thank got I was up when they asked if someone minded, because if I would have woken up to them going off I probably would have shit myslef).

It was intresting hearing all the trail stories from this years bunch. Sounds like trail majic is even stronger this year than back in '96. Its fully though how many of the strories were the same, just the names where changed (maybe to protect the inicent haha).

One guy who never hiked befor was here waiting for this thruhiking buddy (he left early from town so not to slow down his freind). I think he was from overseas (or at least had a very heavy russian like accent) He was a total peebe, but it was fun to listen to his questions and comments. well time to get moving!

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Bobblets Gap Shelter
Day: 3-2002
Mileage: 723


Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
738.7Wilson Creek Shelter (1,830') ?6.2mS; 7.5mN 1830
739.1Spring (2,050') 2050
741.1USFS 186; BRP mp 97.7 (2,402') Old Fincastle Road; Black Horse Gap 2402
741.9Taylors Mountain Overlook; BRP mp 97.0 (2,350') 2350
743Montvale Overlook; BRP mp 95.9 (2,400') 2400
743.6Harveys Knob Overlook; BRP mp 95.3 (2,550') 2550
746Bobblets Gap Shelter (1,920') ?7.5mS; 6.7mN 1920
06/05/02 5:04 pm

Been here for about two hours now, got here and most everyone from last night was here to get water from a less than ideal source, but water IS water.

Good hike today, with mostly slight elevation changes. Good thin cause I don't think I could have handled a bit hill today. Sore sore sore. My feed hurt, my ass hurts and my ankle hurts (only when it wants to).

Met a nice older couple at Bobbetts Gap. They were southbounding on a short hike to see if they had recoved from the flu enough to get back on the trail. Nice couple. I hope they make it to maine. I think they were Rigatoni & AngleHair Noodlehead.

Also met a thruhiker (might have been LazyMike or Paul Reaver) who I talked with during one of my breaks. He even gave me a little water, wich helped me get here without being boone dry.

Today was so hot I hiked shirtless for the first time, and with the buggs missing as they have been for the last two days, I liked it alot.

I dread the hike out of here tomarrow, that was some 0.2 miles....all down (thank G_d for Switchbacks!!)

06/06/02 8:27 am

Feeling much better than last night. Feet and ankles seem better.

Continuation of the story from day one. The hiker I met was Now-or-Never and no he didn't figure out I was hiking in the wrong direction due to town feaver. But it was nice to have a chance to thank him. "You never know when you do trail majic" is what I told him.

Nice group here last night. A father and son team from Brittan (father out for a little bit). Also at the Train, Merurs and others who didn't sign in.

Water source here sucked, but the rain last night helped. The Brittens just made it before it poured.

Two things of note. When using polar pure, after the time is up add vitamin C to the mix and it will kill the tast of the iodine.

The new tent hammocs work well and are cool, bugproof and stood up to that storm last night with no problem. Maybe I will get one in Waynsboro.

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Cove Mountain Shelter
Mileage: 728.7
06/06/02 1:20 pm

One note, the trail description from the road to here is out of date due to a relocation!

Here with Sir Lady James and English John (the Brittish Father and son team from last entry). Nice hike other than a bit hot, but going on to the campground for a shower and laundry.

Forgot to write about Fat Man (maybe Fat Guy), he was a hiker going southbound and the name fits big time (excuse the pun). He weighed about 280-300 lbs and his pack must have been 85 lbs. (Although when he gets to town he is totaly resupplying).It is a great story though, he started way ahead of his southbounding son and is hoping to be is shape by the time his son catches up so they can hike together for a few days. Nice guy! Oh yea he does 5 miles a day or less (for now he hopes more latter).




VA 614
Day: 4-2002
Mileage: 732.7


Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
746Bobblets Gap Shelter (1,920') ?7.5mS; 6.7mN 1920
746.7Peaks of Otter Overlook; BRP mp 92.5 (2,350') 2350
747.4Mills Gap Overlook; BRP mp 91.8 (2,450') 2450
749.1Va. 43, Bearwallow Gap; BRP mp 90.9 (2,228') Buchanan, Va. 24066 2228
750.7Cove Mountain (2,707') 2707
751.1Little Cove Mountain Trail (2,600') 2600
752.5Cove Mountain Shelter (1,925') ?6.7mS; 7mN 1925
754.2Buchanan Trail (1,790') 1790
755.7Va. 614, Jennings Creek Road (987') Jennings Creek 987
06/06/02 7:02 pm

Back here again (Hiked this section in 99) this time with Sir Lady James and English John. We rented a cabin togeter, but I get ahead of myself. Since the shelter the hiking was fairly easy and I felt like I was doing my old pace. Didn't even stop for a break, but then again there were only a few up hills. Saw one deer, first of the trip, but when I tried to unzip my camera pouch it ran off.

Great swim at Jennings creek, cold and no broken glass anywere! Some frendly locals were there as well as one snake.

Couldn't get a hitch into the campground, but got everything else, room, shower, wash and even pizza and beer. Now in cabin #3 waiting for the "sun" to go down (grin).

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Bryant Ridge Shelter
Mileage: 735.4
06/07/02 10:18 am

Got a ride out of the campground to the end of 714 then bushwacked to the trail, cutting a little of the trail and one omuuad (one more useless up and down). But since I hiked the section back in 99, I don't feel bad. Going on to the next shelter.

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Cornelius Creek Shelter
Day: 5-2002
Mileage: 740.2