Gooch Gap Shelter
The Fox, Little John, Big John and Mike at Gooch Gap.
Sheltered again, rather than tenting. This is more typical of the shelters along the A.T. -- three-sided sheds, usually with floors. Shelters were often sited near reliable water sources such as a stream or spring, and most had privies. Using the shelter meant not having to unpack and set up a tent, or pack it the next morning. To a tired hiker, that minor energy savings was very attractive.
I sheltered with these fellas for my third evening on Trail. After dinner and after dark, we would trade stories and background. This night, we also traded our ideal trail dream. Expecting risque conversation from five grown males? Not hardly -- every one of us fantasized about food. Pizzas or Calzones with craft beer and Boston Creme Pie, steaks with marinades, roasted Duck in plum sauce. Except for this soft-spoken guy named Mike (we annoited him 'The Nice One' that evening). When it was his turn, we learned he was a vegetarian -- and all he really wanted was a head of lettuce. Crisp, fresh, cold whole head of lettuce. We fell asleep to those fantasies.