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Then The Hail Came



Part 1 -- THE HAIL


Chapter 1   Reality Sets In Chapter 10   Shenandoah
Chapter 2 Cold Carolina Rain Chapter 11 A Backpacker In Paris
Chapter 3 The Dark Lands Chapter 12 One Thousand Miles
Chapter 4 Heartbreak Hotel Chapter 13 The Furnace
Chapter 5 Home Of Rock 'n' Roll Chapter 14 On The Rocks
Chapter 6 Hump and Groan Chapter 15 Breakdown
Chapter 7 Then The Hail Came Chapter 16 A New Beginning
Chapter 8 Blowout    
Chapter 9 Tear Down The Wall    


Chapter 17   Decadence
Chapter 18 Night of a Thousand Screams
Chapter 19 Day Tripping
Chapter 20 A Toilet With a View
Chapter 21 Wind
Chapter 22 Of Mice and Maine
Chapter 23 The River
Chapter 24 The Promised Land
Chapter 25 Long and Winding Road
Chapter 26 Mountain


3/23/97: My friend, Robert Paul, composed an instrumental inspired by this story. Now, if Hollywood ever calls, the theme song for the movie is ready...

"Mid the Wild Blue" (MIDI file, 21 KB)

"Mid the Wild Blue" (RealAudio -- much higher quality, but you must have version 3.0 or higher of the RealAudio player installed to play this clip)


Other Stories

The Appalachian Trail Home Page
This is just one version of the Appalachian Trail's story. Everyone who tackles this journey will have a different tale to tell. No doubt, you already know about the above link if you found your way to this obscure corner of the World Wide Web, but I put it here just in case. It is THE place for finding a wide variety of information on the trail itself and links to a variety of other hiker journals, most of them more recent than mine. Rather than duplicate the thorough collection of links available at that site, I include here a handful of links I have heard about due to receiving email from readers of this journal. If you have a page dedicated to some facet of hiking or backpacking and would like me to include a link to it here, Send me an email.

All In One Roll - The Story of Gonzo's 2138-mile Journey
Well, this was exciting -- not only is this another prehistoric AT journal, it's also another one from my year - 1983. As if that wasn't enough, Gonzo and I teamed up in one of this story's greatest adventures: breaking the bank at the Country Cookin' in Cloverdale, Virginia (I undertand our mug shots are still hanging on the Post Office wall).

Alan remembers part of this story differently than I. He writes about "talking me into" eating there. I seem to remember him saying the words "all you can eat" and then diving out of the way of my galloping hooves. Either way, an adventure that will live forever, and another excellent AT Website. Plus, he's posted many of his pics. Enjoy.

Dave's Hiking Home Page
If you ever wanted to climb a New Hampshire mountain in January (or just sit in a warm den sipping a hot chocolate while someone else does it for you), Dave Pitta will take you there via photos and text. Great photos and valuable links for anyone interested in hiking or climbing in New Hampshire.

Falling Water Journeys
An interesting concept: a site dedicated to showcasing stories of those who have hiked, climbed, biked, sailed or canoed long distances. As of March, 1997, contents are Ron & Linda Moak's 1977 Appalachian Adventure. As they hiked the trail north to south, the story makes an interesting contrast to my northbound hike. Of particular note are Linda's remarkably detailed and fascinating anecdotes of the people they encountered along the way. Like mine, Ron's tale is more introverted (must be a guy thing). The two viewpoints together paint an extraordinary picture of hiking the Appalachian Trail with a partner, and the good humor and understanding required for such an undertaking. My favorite online journal. Good informational links on their Resources page.

Access Damascus
The great southwest Virginia trail town has an extremely well-done Web site. An excellent visit for reliving some pleasant memories if you can't find the time to get back to Damascus itself.

People often ask me where are all the pictures from my hike. Someday I'll get that slide attachment for my scanner and add some. Better yet, Jim has lots of great AT pics here and an excellent story as well - "Hot Air from Dragon's Breath" - the tale of his 1998 thru-hike. Plus other exciting adventures.


©1997-2011 George Steffanos