Rockfish Gap
Day: 82
Mileage: 834.9
07/05/96 11:12 pm

[Got on at Rockfish Gap. The first blaze was at the south end of the bridge over 250 - see map 11 S.N.P. South District]

Well I have not made an entry in well over a day, well since Keith joined me so here goes:

Well sitting at the pool with Singe and Fire Starter and getting a little sunburn (wich I found out latter). Keith Drove up and we had a good reunion. We whent off to the room and caught up on things and got organized for our hike. We latter whent out to the Country Kitchen for dinner. Latter we bumped into Waldo, Holy Hobbie and Brak-a-way. It was good to see all of them again before I got off. We whent to Pizza Hut were Keith and Waldo seem to hit it off. We found out that Waldo had a whole bunch of media types coming to the hotel the next day for interviews. We got back to the hotel and whent to bed to David Letterman.

Today we woke, packed and while going to breakfast the media showed up. We ate and whent back to the room. Waldo was still being interviewed, I had to take a picture of this for memory sake. Keith and I got a big kick over it.

Well we finished packing and had a wonderful drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to here. Stopped at a number of scienic overview and also at a resuraunt to eat. We got here and got a room with no problems, wich surprised me since it is the 4th of July weekend. We went to check out were the trail and registration info was and also talked to the rangers about giving the info I had about the murders. Then we whent back and made the call giving the info to the authorities. We then went into town to the outfitters and to eat Chinnees Food and then back here to whatch Tv. Tomarrow we start to hike!!

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Calf Mt Shelter S.N.P.
Day: 83
Mileage: 841.8

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
861.4I-64 overpass (1,902') 1902
861.6Skyline Drive mp 105.2 (1,902') 1902
862.1SNP kiosk for self-registration; park entrance station (2,200') 2200
865McCormick Gap; Skyline Drive mp 102.1 (3,450') 3450
866.3Bear Den Mountain (2,885')?old tractor seats, vista 2885
866.8Beagle Gap; Skyline Drive mp 99.5 (2,550') 2550
869Calf Mountain Shelter (2,700') ?13mS; 13.5mN 2700
07/06/96 6:04 pm

It's nice to be on the trail again. Here with a scout troop high adventure trip (they are from Buffalo NY) and 4 thru hikers and one wife of the thru hiker (Youngblood and Noodle are 2 of the thru hikers). Got word that Snail No More is in a hostel in town. The hike here was pretty uneventful except for 2 snakes and Keith falling off a seat at the radio towers (why they had seats aranged in a circle was beyond me...maybe a campfire spot).

Nice day with little humidity, but the sun was relentless and we did have a lot of opened fields today.

Was able to leave the car at the hotel, well I should think so since I made confermed reservations for the day we get off. Now all we have to do is get the ride back to it. But that is latter.

Got a good yogi off the scouts, got 2 free hotdogs wich were cooked over the fire. Very good.

The food poles in the park are wierd and not exactly what I expected. They are hard to get the food bags on it. But a stick in the string to hold it in a loop does work!

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Blackrock Hut S.N.P.
Day: 84
Mileage: 854.8

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
869Calf Mountain Shelter (2,700') ?13mS; 13.5mN 2700
869.6Spring (2,200') 2200
870SNP southern boundary; Jarman Gap; Skyline Drive mp 96.9 (2,173') 2173
870.2Spring (2,150') 2150
871.8Sawmill Run Overlook; Skyline Drive mp 95.3 (2,200') 2200
873.4Turk Gap; Skyline Drive mp 94.1 (2,600') 2600
875.4Skyline Drive mp 92.4 (3,100') 3100
879.5Skyline Drive mp 88.9 (2,350') 2350
881.3Blackrock Gap; Skyline Drive mp 87.4 (2,321') 2321
881.5Skyline Drive mp 87.2 (2,700') 2700
882Blackrock Hut (2,645')?13.5mS; 13.5mN 2645
07/07/96 8:45 pm

Today was a long day. 13 miles seemed like 200! It was slow, hot and exahsting. I was not up to my usual hiking form and Keith is out of shap and his back is bothering him, so we were slow. But we made it here ok and having a good time here with 4 other hikers. Have a fire going now to ward off the bugs (campfire ashes). The Spring here is the Best I have seen anyware!!! Too Tall was 2 bears a few minutes before reaching so we are on the lookout. There are also reports of a big rattlesnake around too. In the shelter tonight since the boy scouts didn.t make it this far, I wonder what they are doing about water since there is non betwween herre and the last shelter.

Well Keith is turning in and I am tired too so goodnight.

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Loft Mt Campground S.N.P.
Day: 85
Mileage: 862.1

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
882Blackrock Hut (2,645')?13.5mS; 13.5mN 2645
882.6Blackrock (3,100')?open rocky summit 3100
883.6Skyline Drive mp 84.3 (2,800') 2800
884.9Dundo Group Campground (2,700') 2700
885.1Browns Gap; Skyline Drive mp 82.9 (2,600') 2600
886Skyline Drive mp 82.2 (2,800') 2800
886.4Doyles River Parking Area; Skyline Drive mp 81.9 (2,800') 2800
887.3Doyles River Cabin (locked); Skyline Drive mp 81.1 (2,900') 2900
889.4+Loft Mountain Campground (3,300') 3300
07/08/96 7:04 pm

First about last night. In the shelter with Too Tall, Barbell, Snowman, Oober Dave (Snuggums) and Trip (Keith). Keith had a great time playing spades (cards) with Snowman as his partner. Later that evening Oober was snoring up a storm and I was farting up a tornado. Everyone smelt it and it even woke up Dave for a bit.

Today had an easy 7.3 mile hike. The overlook at Blackrock Summit (more like a bolder field) was the best (well only non-drive-in) overlook yet in S.N.P. and we took a good long photo break there.

Got here and set up a tent and whent down to the store. There we met the guys (minus Barbell who said he was going to yellow blaze because his feet were swollen). One other hiker joined us but he was a wana-be thru hiker trying to impress all of us with his knowlege and just ticked us all off. Had ice cream, took a shower (of course got caught with soap on my balls when the first 5 min. was up) and did a wash. Then whent down, just in time) to grab a cheeseburger at the wayside. Then I started to fart again like last night! I think keith would buy a gassmask if a store had one....I hope it is not serious, like geardia or something.

Started to rain during the walk back from the wayside, but it isn.t to bad yet.

Keith does like the shorter days, and to tell the truth it is nice to do the lower milage once again, that 13 yesterday killed!!

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Pinefield Hut S.N.P.
Day: 86
Mileage: 867.9

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
889.4+Loft Mountain Campground (3,300') 3300
890.5Frazier Discovery Trail to Loft Mountain Wayside (2,950') 2950
891.2Loft Mountain (3,200') 3200
891.5Spring (2,950') 2950
893.6Ivy Creek Overlook; Skyline Drive mp 77.5 (2,800') 2800
895.2Pinefield Hut (2,430')?13.5mS; 8.4mN 2430
07/09/96 8:20 pm

Well this is it the last day on the trail. It started with drying out the gear from last nights rain (wich wasn.t too bad). Then we started to walk down to the Wayside to get breakfast. On the way there we saw a bear! Well I saw a bear and Keith saw the rear end of one, but he did see it. We ate breakfast and headed back to camp and packed up. We left camp and, on our way out, went to the camp store were I picked up a bottle of sparkeling wine for tonight.

Then we hiked. We had two good overviews on the relativley short 5.8 mile hike to here.

Here, we met the two scout leaders from Baltamore (no troop, just them). They were at Philmont last year and they helped me relive the Philmont experiance. Then Noodle and Illinois showed up and they helped me .celibrate. my last day by helping me and Keith drink the wine over our mac and cheese dinner.

It's hard to describe how I feel about this trip coming to an end. I am sad that I might never see some of them again, but I am happy in my acomplishment of hiking for 3 months and in the memories I am taking back with me. I am sure that the full impact of this trip will not surface for weeks to come. But it has been everything I have imagined and more.

Quote from the journal: .Noodle says she can.t hang with the boys (anatomically speaking)..

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---- End '96 Hike ----
Day: 87
Mileage: 867.9
07/10/96 11:09 pm

Well today we hiked out from the Shelter to the Pinefield Gap Parking area and the Skyline Drive. We started to hike south. We finaly got picked up at about milepost 79 and was driven to Jones Run Parking Area at milepost 84. We started hiking south and trying to hitch once again. A couple stopped and said we were only a mile away from Blackrock Parking Area and they said they would try to pick us up on their way out of the park if they saw us. We started hiking once again, and hiked for about another mile or two, and there they were again. As they promissed they picked us up. There car was pretty full so we had to sit with our packs on out laps, but we got a ride. The couple was great! The woman was loads of fun and making jokes all the ride out of the park. It was Trail Magic at its best. I knew Keith was a little mad that we bypassed the Loft Mt Wayside, but this made up for it. They were from Kentucky and has name was Mike. I never did get her name. They wanted to see the park befor going on to Virgina Beech. Mike is intrested in natural dessasters (huricans, tornados and such) and he might see a hurican close up since Burtha is heading that way. They even drove us right to the door of the hotel. We thanked them multiple times and uncramped ourselves to get out of the backseats. The hotel let us check in early and we took a swim to clean up. We then went to town and ate lunch and went shoping for music at the K-Mart. We also got to a mac machine. Then bumbed around the hotel until dinner. We got the broken phone in our room replaced and did dinner at the steak house. Then came back, Keith called his girlfriend and I called Dan Meyer about infor for the summercamp meeting I am going to tomarrow.

It has been a fun 3 months and I will miss the trail and my friends, but the real world is calling me back. I swear I will do the rest of the 2164 miles of the AT one day!

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'96 Hike Map