Tuesday, July 31, 2007
~:TBD Appalachian Trail Journal: 10.4.87:~
I awoke at 6:00 am to find SNOW on my bag. SNOW! It's only October.
I had definite mixed emotions. Half of me was excited to see the 1st snow. The other half kinda depressed at the thought that I still have 429 miles to go before I finish this quest.
I just returned from checking out the trail. It's very difficult to follow. White everywhere.
Trees are felling at about one every 45 seconds. This has been going on for about 2 hours. One tree has already hit the shelter.
Should I stay or should I go. That appears to be the question of the morning. Given all the factors. Snow, lots of it. Many, many blow downs, or should I say snow downs.
Every three steps I take, I slide back one. I've got plenty of food and I'm dry. I think I'll stay for today.
I think the trees have stopped falling. It's still snowing.
I shifted the down feathers in my bag to the top, hoping that will keep me warmer. As long as I stay dry, I should be okay.
As I sit here stuffed in my bag, my mind keeps flashing back to Kaija. Kaija Volckening. I met Kaija in Great Barrington. She's beautiful, but not just on the outside, inside also. I've never met anyone like her. I think I love her. Only time will tell. I have yet to finish this trip and she has to finish hers. She is so strong.
I must stop for a while. My hands are getting cold.
I was wrong. Trees are still falling. Another one just hit the shelter. I hope this shelter ias as strong as it looks. Snow is still falling at a heavy rate.
All I hear on the radio is "Rain, rain, rain," It sure ain't raining up here. There looks to be about 8 inches of snow accumulation. If a tree hasn't broken in half from the weight of the snow, it has slumped over. I say about 30% of the trees up here are downed. Which means even if it does stop snowing and the snow melts, the trail is gonna be hell from the snow-downs. My guess, to the reason and number of downed trees that have fallen: I don't think they were ready for snow in October. The cold air probably not so good either.
As for me, it's gonna take a lot more than this to drop 'Ol Darling Boy.
I see a spot of sunshine off to the East. Looks like it might blow over.
I've awoken to the dripping sound of melting snow. I see blue skies and sunshine in the trees. The snowing has stopped with about 10 inches of snow on the ground.
The trees are no longer filled with snow, but the ground still has a 10 inch blanket on it. I don't think it will melt by a.m.. It will probably freeze which means a crust, which will be good. Maybe I won't slide so much tomorrow when I try to leave.
It has to be close to freezing, ice is forming in my water bottles. Where the hell did Fall go? I still can't quite believe this. Snow on October 4th with 429 miles to go. YEAAAAA. Oh well. It makes interesting reading.
My feet are cold. I never did have terrific circulation in my feet.
Another tree has hit the shelter (a big one.) A branch of which has driven itself through the roof of the shelter. Scared the shit out of me. I find myself singing Jingle Bells. And to think, only 2 weeks ago found me swimming in a pond.
I find myself drifting again. Back to Kaija. She is so beautiful.
It's getting colder. I wish I had a thurmommetor (I can't spell.)
Getting out wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Continuing south from where I was was an impossibility. I went about 1/2 a mile. It took 45 minutes. The trail was obliterated. I turned back and followed my footprints back to the shelter. The only thing left for me to do was to hike back to the last road I crossed and then try to hitch a ride.
I made it back to the road and got a ride into town. There were fallen trees everywhere. I decided to make a small jump south to try and pass all the snow and fallen trees.
So here I am, Greymoor Monastary. I must say it's good to be here. I'm clean and warm and well fed. I just got off the phone. I was speaking to Kaija. It was soooo good to hear her voice. I will write her tonight. A relationship with her is definitely worth working for.
GA-HF 87 ME-HF
Appalachian Trail Journal
Tom B. Dusenberry
2340 Leisure Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30338