Hot Springs, North Carolina, Appalachian Trail

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June 1, Wednesday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Up at 6:01 and headed straight for the bathroom. Too much to eat the night before…Then it was half a box of Fruit Loops cereal with milk, and four raspberry rolls we picked up at the store yesterday. The beds had provided a restful sleep - a change from the early morning pain of sleeping too long on one part of your back and shifting to another every now and then. Bought two canned sodas before leaving Hot Springs and packed them for the rest of the day instead of water in my water bottle.

In Hurricane Gap, a short distance out of Hot Springs, we came across a white cross on the side of the trail with an inscription stating " Rex Pulford, April 12, 1983" on it. Apparently Rex had died here. Later on at Little Laurel Shelter we found out that he was a 72 year old thru-hiker who had died of a cerebral hemorage while attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail. He was known as "the Tortoise" while on the trail. Apparently some of the hikers who were in the area when he died decided to carry what they called a "roving register" on up the trail in his memory along with his hiking staff. See Rex's personal journal.

We stopped for lunch at Spring Mountain Shelter, where I found the shelter register basically full and decided to pack it out. (See all the register entries from this great journal by clicking here.) Later we stopped for ice cream at Allen's Gap, where a small gas station with minimal supplies could be found next to the trail. Jim and I each had a pint of ice cream and then bought a can of beef stew for our meal. Along with the soda carried out of Hot Springs, the stew would provided another enjoyable meal. We reached Little Laurel Shelter before 4 pm, and discovered that this shelter came with an old used mattress. Even if the shelter roof did not leak, the mattress seemed to have taken on a musty, grungy odor and appearance that did not deter Jim from wanting to use it's added padding to comfort his body for the night.
It rained on and off this morning, but was sunny after lunch. This happens quite often. Cool and breezy this evening.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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