Brian Vaughan's Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

Phone calls from the Trail Georgia/North Carolina

02/22/98 - Brian leaves Boston for Atlanta by Greyhound bus.

02/23/98 - Brian arrives in Atlanta, takes bus to Gainesville, GA and taxi ($$!) to Amicalola State Park.

02/24/98 - The thruhike begins.

02/26/98 - Already at Neels Gap! That's 30.7 miles from the top of Springer Mountain. Not too many people hiking this time of year. Reports that weather is good - in the sixties. Hasn't used tent yet, has been sleeping in shelters. Not sure where he will resupply next.

03/04/98 - At Rainbow Springs Campground in Wallace Gap. 103.7 miles - plus the 8.8 mile approach trail gives a very good average mileage of 12.5 miles hiked per day. Had the obligatory pizza. Hiked with Cosmo and Gecko Goat for awhile. Staying in bunkhouse - may shower and do laundry if water is on tomorrow. Wants to return two person tent and have bivy sent to Hot Springs, which will be next maildrop after Fontana Dam. Several inches of snow - one morning temperature was 18 degrees [but no, Mom, don't send those extra clothes, I'll be fine]. Needs insulator for water bottle - water keeps freezing. Also wants list of internet access points for 'net included in next mailing!

03/08/98 - Brian called today from Wesser. He seems to be obsessed with food now - wanted me to buy a dehydrator and fix him meals with dried fruits and veggies and powdered milk. Described his meals in detail. Requested "Bear Mountain" bars - mom will look into this. Going to hike to Fontana Dam over the next three days. Finally took a shower! Total distance now is 134.1 miles.

03/10/98 - Brian called very late today from Fontana Dam. He described the town as "strange, like a ghost town or a movie set - no people around." Hiking in Georgia was good, but lots of blowdowns in North Carolina. Views obscured by thick fog. Temperatures very cold with waist deep snow reported ahead in the Smokies, as well as many more blowdowns. Now at 161.7 miles. Wants to see if I can find Wal Mart Teva sandals and still asking about Bear Mountain bars. Still no ATM's so cash flow has definitely been a problem. I will check into postal money orders for next mail drop. Looking forward to meeting Wingfoot in Hot Springs. Travelling with several other hikers now. I will be keeping up to date on weather conditions in the Smokies and watching the LiveCam of the Smokies.

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This page is being maintained by Brian's mother who will be updating and adding pictures as soon as Brian sends them.

For more information about Brian and his thruhike, you can email his mom at or his stepfather at
Last revised January 10, 1999.