May 4, 1998

5/4/98 Catawba Mountain Shelter

13.9 miles (688.1 total)

Got a late start this morning (9am) in the fog and mist. Ghandi and I had a long climb up towards Dragon’s Tooth. Because the fog was pretty heavy we didn’t take the side trail, but everyone after us said we should have. The climb down at times was literally climbing with feet and hands.

The rocky trail
and we're not even in Pennsylvania yet

As we got closer to the road, we discovered a trail magic cooler, full of cold drinks, PBJ sandwiches and pastries. We thanked the AT goddess and dug in. Soon we were walking the road towards the grocery store, empty cans in hand. When our benevolent trail angel, Jeff (Southpaw‘95) drove by. After getting ice cream and snacks, everyone seemed to be congregating at the trailhead. Everyone was there, with Jeff taking pictures of all the thru-hikers.

A 'trail angel' left a full cooler for us hungry hikers

More pastures to cross, then back up on the ridgeline. Even saw some cows today. By mid afternoon, the humidity was high and thunderstorms could be heard in the distance. Moondaddie heard on the radio of quarter-size hail, so my adrenaline kicked in. Again I just got to the shelter before the rain, but we only got a little pea-size hail. Somehow Crazy Old got ahead of me and is here at the shelter - he did 23 miles today (crazy for someone 65 years old). Just as Moondaddie, Afterburner, Gravy and Billygoat were getting ready to head to the next shelter, Kadidle showed up and decided to push on too.

A good day for hiking!

Well, I was going to tent tomorrow but decided to push a long day and stay at the motel - I really want a shower. Looks like Ghandi will join me. Unfortunately, Veto is still a full day ahead. Time for bed!