Rich Mountain Campsite
Day: 39
Mileage: 278.9

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
273.7U.S. 25 & 70, N.C. 209 (1,326') Hot Springs, N.C. 28743 1326
275.1Lovers Leap Rock (1,820') 1820
277Pump Gap (2,130') 2130
278.6Campsite (2,490') 2490
05/23/96 7:27 pm

Well this is the first, AND LAST, time I will ever start hiking at 1pm!

I just could not get out of Hot Springs. Maybe it was because I stayed up so late, maybe it was because of my aches and pains, maybe it was that I found out Snail No More was in town wit a sprained ankle and maybe it was just common sense telling me to stay, but motivating myself to get moving was almost impossible. I did not get packed untill noon and then the post office was closed for lunch, more time to almost stay annother night. But I didn.t. The fist climb almost killed me, mostly do to the heat and my pace was way to fast. I had to take a very long break at one point because I felt I was going to pass out.

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After the break, I took it a little slower and started to enjoy the hike. then it started to go down hill to the little pond. The guide book said 'excellent campsight' and I was going to stay there, but I could not find the camp they were refering to. So instead, I took a long break and a swim. The water was refreshing but, until I dried, I felt very slimmy. But it did cool me off and woke me up enough so I could continue to hike to here. I probably could have made the shelter, but I have a feeling it was full anyway. I am now here with 'Slow-poke' who started March 15, but he is probably between 70 and 80, so to still be on the trail is quite an acomplishment for him. Hard to have a conversation with him though, since he put away his hearing aids (Boy is he deaf!).

Glad I did not fall victim to Hot Springs Layover Syndrome though!

Top 10 "Trail Lies"
Copied from the Spring Mt Shelter register dated 5/14
1. You're almost there
2. You can't miss it.
3. No, it's not a dry town.
4. There is a phone.
5. There is a privey.
6. It's waterproof.
7. No, really, I did hike it.
8. It's all downhill from here.
9. Topo maps.
10. Ramen noodles and tunafish are nutritious and delicious.

Little Laurel Shelter
Day: 40
Mileage: 290.3

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
278.6Campsite (2,490') 2490
279.6U.S. 25 & 70 overpass, Tanyard Gap (2,278') 2278
281.9Rich Mountain Fire Tower Side Trail (3,600') 3600
283USFS 467, Hurricane Gap (2,900') 2900
284.7Spring Mountain Shelter (3,300') ?14.2mS; 8.6mN 3300
286.2Spring (3,190") 3190
288.4N.C. 208, Tenn. 70, Allen Gap, Paint Creek (2,234') 2234
290Log Cabin Drive (2,560') 2560
293.3Little Laurel Shelter (3,300') ?8.6mS; 6.8mN 3300
05/24/96 8:05 pm

Good hike today, and not as hard as I expected (what a surprise, the elevation profile was wrong again!).

Got 2 surprizes today, I was at Spring Mt Shelter just reading the log and some section hikers asked 'looking forward to icecream?' I had to ask were and they told me about the gas station that is right off trail that has icecream and drinks. The second surprise is when I got to the road there was Doc's wife waiting for me, well she offered me a cold drink, a snadwich and even an orange. It was the best! Then Doc arrived after slackpacking from Hot Springs, and they took me to the gas station for that icecream. In total I wasn't hiking for about 2 hours.

It was hot but I made good time to the shelter. Took a camper shower at the spring and did laundry.

Now listening to Crag playing his Martin Backpacker guiutar.

New hiker term; Exageration Maps - the totaly wrong profile maps of the A.T.

Animal of the day: A wild turkey on the trail about an hour south of the shelter.

Jerry Cabin Shelter
Day: 41
Mileage: 297.2

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
294.6Bald Mountain Road, Camp Creek Bald (4,750') 4750
296.3Spring, creek (4,390')?blue?blaze trails both sides of A.T. 4390
296.4White Rock Cliffs (4,450') 4450
296.6Blackstack Cliffs (4,420') 4420
297.6Big Firescald Knob (4,360') 4360
300.1Jerry Cabin Shelter (4,150') ?6.8mS; 6.3mN 4150
05/25/96 7:39 pm

Boy was I lazy today, got here at one and decided to take a break. Well I finaly got modivated and got packed up at about 3:30pm. I whent to the crapper and came back and it started to rain, so I stayed put.

During my break, a group from Outward Bound out on a course. Boy they looked dead! I am glad I don.t force myself to do that many miles, they were doing a 20 mile day (and they are out for onnly 3 days).

Good group tonight, 5 thru hikers here. Got news that Snail No More is on the trail again (he had a twisted ankle and was in Hot Springs for 8 days). I hope I see him soon!

It threatened to rain last night at dinner, and then it held off till 1 or 2am and tonight it looks like it is going to do the same thing.

One of the hikers here is called .tweetie bird., I just found out why, he plays the flute and quite well to. The funnything is, he whent behind the shelter and started playing and I didn.t expect it, but G-d its sweet!

We also have a fire going here (campfire ashes added), its a good group and a good time.

This shelter is taken care of by Sam Waddle who has been on the job here for 23 years! He must have a sense of humor with a telephone and and light socket.

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Also the spring here is unusual, it starts off low, gets going really well and then stops dead. Then it starts all over again. Weired!

05/26/96 9:10 am

I just can.t seem to get out of here, it is raining and I am going to hopefully wait it out. Only one here, everyone else heading for the shelter 14+ miles away, as for me, I don.t know, but with my self motivation being so lacking, I will be glad just to get to the next shelter.

Flint Mt Shelter
Day: 42
Mileage: 303.1

Miles from SpringerFeaturesElevation
300.1Jerry Cabin Shelter (4,150') ?6.8mS; 6.3mN 4150
302Big Butt (4,750') 4750
303.3Spring (4,480') 4480
303.6Shelton Graves (4,490') 4490
306.4Flint Mountain Shelter (3,570') ?6.3mS; 8.9mN 3570
05/26/96 12:48 pm

Taking a break here. Got here, ate lunch, took a crap, got water and on my way back from getting water the sky grew dark and just when I got to the shelter the sky opened up and down came the rain. Boy do I have timing or what!

05/26/96 9:35 pm

My break turned into a stay. Here with Lone Wolf, Emperess, Snail No More and Waldo. Yes, Snail No More did catch up to me.

Waldo was sitting here autographing bibles with things like 'Good luck on your hike and watch out for the shelter mice - G-d'. Weird.

It cleared up, so it should be good hiking, well I can hope can't I.

Surprising that, being Memorial Day Weekend, I haven.t seen too many day or weekend hikers. Maybe the rain scared them off, but I am glad they stayed home.

Good to be back with old freinds again!

Good night.

Hogback Ridge Shelter
Day: 43
Mileage: 312