Sauders Shelter
Day: 57
Mileage: 460.8

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
469.8U.S. 58 Va. 91, Virginia Creeper Trail (1,928')?steps 1928
470.9Cuckoo Knob (2,990') 2990
472.3Iron Mountain Trail, Feathercamp Ridge (2,850') 2850
473.8Beech Grove Trail (2,490') 2490
474.4U.S. 58, Straight Branch Feathercamp Branch, Feathercamp Trail (2,200')? picnic area, privy 2200
475.8Stream (2,490')?footbridge 2490
476.4Taylors Valley Side Trail, Virginia Creeper Trail (2,850') 2850
478Straight Mountain (3,500') 3500
478.3Saunders Shelter (3,310') ?19.9mS; 6.7mN 3310
06/10/96 6:50 pm

Well I got up in good time and whent to the post office to mail my ship ahead box, film and some winter gear as well as Snail No More's and Jim 'Syd's' ship ahead boxes. Then I went to the grocery and picked up doghnuts, chocolate milk and pinapple/orange juice. Ate and packed and then I was off.

Within a few miles I felt like CRAP! I felt dead tired and had a very upset stomach. Decided to take a nap at a small campsight. It did help and I got here feeling a little better. Took a dump and that helped to, but I still had to force a dinner down. Hope I feel better tommarow.

On the brighter side, the trail was switch-backed and the two 1,000 ft climbs were pretty easy (espicailly when compared to the Tenn. Eastman Hiking Club - we dont believe in switchback climbs. Glad to be in Virinia!

Also, I might have the shelter to myself tonight. Only 2 others here and they are tenting. This will be the first time on the officail AT if no one shows up.

I sort of hope that Crag (who stayed at The Place to let his blisters heal) and Waldo catch up, but whatever happends happends.

06/11/96 8:29 am

Well I was alone in the shelter last night, well sort of. The mice were very plentiful and kept on waking me up. So I did not get as much sleep as I was hoping to.

Feeling a little better this morning, but not sure if I am able to do the 19+ to Thomas Knob Shelter. Will decide at Lost Mountain Shelter.

06/11/96 8:44 am

While packing up a mouse fell from the ceiling and brushed my face on the way down.....and someone said there wasn't a mouse problem here. BULL!

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Lost Mt Shelter
Day: 58
Mileage: 467.2

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
480.6Beartree Gap Trail (3,050')?USFS Beartree Campground 3050
480.8Campsite (3,020') 3020
482.4Va. 728, Creek Junction Station (2,720')?old railroad bed 2720
483Virginia Creeper Trail, Whitetop Laurel Creek (2,690') 2690
483.6Va. 859, Grassy Ridge Road (2,900') 2900
483.8Streams (3,040') 3040
484.4Lost Mountain (3,400') 3400
484.8Lost Mountain Shelter (3,360') ?6.7mS; 12.4mN 3360
06/11/96 6:37 pm

Annother day of being a bum. I only hiked 6.4 miles here and decided not to attempt the 12+ more to the next shelter. So I just sat around and read. Also had a great nap, wich made up for last night.

Feeling better today, and actually hungry after a full dinner, pudding, a nuti-grain bar AND M&M.s. I hope this is the end of feeling crappy.

Here being entertained by a group of 2 men and three boys trying to cook pancakes on a wisperlight stove. I am surprised that they are edible (but he is getting good at it).

Oh, a story from yesterdays hike: I was crossing US58 at Straight Branch when a man and his son were sitting. The man asked how far the AT whent and when I said Georgia to Maine the boys jaw just dropped and the man (his father) siad 'I told you, I told you'. The expression on the boys face was precious!

Well tomarrow it is off to wild pony land (Mt. Rodgers).

06/11/96 7:51 pm

The group that was cooking pandcakes are from Minisido and have built a wonderful campfire (well more like bondfire) added campfire ashes to it so they have been used in every state so far.

Thomas Knob Shelter
Day: 59
Mileage: 479.4

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
485.9U.S. 58; Summit Cut, Va. (3,160') 3160
486.3Campsites near stream (3,300') 3300
487.2Va. 601, Beech Mountain Road (3,600') 3600
489.7Buzzard Rock on Whitetop Mountain (5,080') 5080
490.5Spring (5,100')? piped 5100
490.6USFS 89, Whitetop Mountain Road to summit (5,150') 5150
493Va. 600, Elk Garden (4,434') Whitetop, Va. 4434
493.5Boundary Lewis Fork Wilderness (4,640') 4640
494.9Campsite (4,850')?blue blaze 4850
495Deep Gap (4,900') 4900
495.1Virginia Highlands Horse Trail, Mt. Rogers Trail (5,200')?USFS Grindstone Campground 5200
496.1Brier Ridge Saddle (5,125')?views in meadow 5125
497Spur Trail (5,490') to summit of Mt. Rogers (5,729') 5729
497.2Thomas Knob Shelter (5,400') ?12.4mS; 5.1mN 5400
06/12/96 9:19 pm

Today I woke up to threatening skies and they delivered as promissed. Of course it waited until I got to Buzzards Rock and Whitetop so that I wouldn.t get a view (what else is new). Got to Elk Garden and it was actually sunny enough to stop and dry out and eat lunch.

Made it here ok, G-d it is nice to be in a section were the club believes in switchbacks. When I got here I I met the local wildlife. The ponies were supposidly wild but one came up to me looking for a handout and I was able to pet it. Also here are cows including a horney bull that kept on trying to mount a non-reseptive cow.

They have an intresting privey here. It is a solar powered composting privey. I guess the pannels run a motor to stir the crap.

The shelter is nice and large, with two floors and plenty of space. Here with two others (when the horses and cows are not around!).

Finaly today I felt 100% again.

P.S. Found out about the new shelter at Wilson Creek about 5 miles away, but it realy doesn't change my hiking plans. The guy who told me about it said 'Yea, it's so new the mice haven't moved in yet!'

06/13/96 10:30 am

Just got back from my slackpack to the summit of Mt Rogers. It was GREAT! A totaly different eco-system than any other part of the hike. Reminded me of the rainforest in Washington State (well the fog and dampness of the place helped make that connection - yes it did rain almost all night!). It was worth it just to see all that, but I also can say .I climbed the highest point in Va.. and .I climbed Mt Rogers!.

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Old Orchard Shelter
Day: 60
Mileage: 490.3

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
497.2Thomas Knob Shelter (5,400') ?12.4mS; 5.1mN 5400
498.2Rhododendron Gap (5,440') ?Pine Mtn Trail 5440
498.7Wilburn Ridge Trail (5,440') 5440
498.8Fatman Squeeze (5,300')?rock tunnel 5300
499.4Wilburn Ridge Trail (4,900') 4900
500.2Park service road to Massie Gap (4,800') 4800
502.3Grayson Highlands State Park, Wise Shelter (4,460')?5.1mS; 6mN 4460
502.4Big Wilson Creek (4,300')?footbridge 4300
502.6Wilson Creek Trail (4,300') 4300
502.7Scales Trail Junction (4,650') 4650
503.7Spring (4,610') 4610
504.9Stone Mountain (4,820') 4820
505.3The Scales (4,620') ?livestock corral, privy 4620
506.7Pine Mountain Trail (5,000') 5000
508.3Old Orchard Shelter (4,050') ?6mS; 4.9mN 4050
06/13/96 1:28 pm

What a day so far! Cimbed Mt Rogers, saw some great views between Thomas Knob Shelter and Little Wilson Creek Shelter. Taking a break here at the new shelter. Nice one too. Even took a .swim. in the creek which felt great! Funny how today started out cold and overcast, cleared up and warmed up, and now it is clouding over once again.

Feeling great but the hiking was hard and with all the views it really slowed me down. A lot of the hiking reminded me of Philmont for some reason.

One sad note: they have a reward poster up in the shelter for information about the murders of Julie Williams and Lollie Winans who were killed in Shenandoah National Park on June 1.

One note about the new shelter: it seems to have a LOT of flies!

06/13/96 8:40 pm

The rest of the day was plesant, but the 12 or so miles here seemed to go on and on and on. The weather held out and actually whent back to sunny and quite warm.

When I got here there were three groups already here, but they did not take the shelter. One was a church group, one a camp, and the last was a high adventure trip for Troop 39. Talked to the scout troop leaders. They are from Bill Irwin.s home town and they have herd him speek a few times. I asked it Orient died, as someone has said, but they told me that was not the case.

The groups all now all playing capture the flag and it is reminding me so much of every game I hqve ever heard. The lost player when a game is done, the were are the boundries again argument, and all the other usual sounds of the game. Ah the memories.

Sunset here was better than average and the selter was facing it so I was able to enjoy it more than usual.

Overall a great day to celibrate my 2 month aniversary on!!

06/14/96 8:49 am

The groups were well behaved last night and, for the most part, quiet by 9:30 - 10pm. One group sent over some smores for us, wich was FANTASTIC!

This shelter has a cheep guitar in it wich cannot be tuned. Both Sneakers and I tried with no luck. We think the neck bends when you tune one string, detuning the rest. But it made for some fun trying.

Well off for a 14 mile day!

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Trimpi Shelter
Day: 61
Mileage: 504.7