11, 1981 Saturday From Gonzo!s Appalachian
Up at 6:30 and off to Montebello. Mom had sent a package there
before the decision to quit had occurred and we hoped to retrieve
it. We drove part way there utilizing the Blue Ridge Parkway. We ate
pancakes at the little store/PO in Montebello and luckily were able
to pick up the package. We made another stop, this time for lunch,
in Kenova (State unknown) at a place called the Chatterbox restaurant.
We were back home in Illinois at 10:15 pm (CST).
end had come quick. As far as I can remember, the main reason for
quitting was blister problems that would not heal due to constant
dampness of my boots and socks. Looking back, I think part of
the problem was also the actual socks that I wore. They were white
cotton socks, without liners. Sore heals were the main symptom,
although nightly back pains definitely factored into it as well.
But these were only symptoms, and the real reason for quitting was
probably more the fact that if I kept going, I would not have been
able to actually claim I had walked the entire Appalachian Trail.
Many people do claim completion even though they have done the same
thing I had done skip some sections. I had ended up about
678 miles from where I had begun on the Appalachian Trail, but I
estimate that I missed about 120, thus actually hiked only about
558 miles. For my first ever backpacking trip, I think I had done
quite well. All I know for sure is that almost immediately after
I had finished, I began to plan for the next trip, where I would
use all that I had learned to make sure that I would overcome all
the obstacles and become an official 2000 miler. I had not quit
because I did not like the trail, but because I liked it so much,
I knew I would return and make sure I did not miss any part of it.
happened to Randall Lee Smith?
March 23, 1982: Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree murder
in both deaths and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
* Sept. 27, 1996: Smith was released from prison on mandatory
* Sept. 26, 2006: Smith was taken off of probation.
* May 6, 2008: Scott Johnson and Sean Farmer were shot in
the Dismal area of Giles County, Va. That same day, authorities
apprehended Smith after he crashed a pickup truck that belonged
to one of two fishermen shot that day. (for their story,
* May 10, 2008 Smith dies in the hospital, perhaps as the
result of injuries sustained in the crash.