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July 4, 1981 Saturday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Pancakes again this morning, but with a new twist - I flipped ‘em without a spatula! Super Chef. (Chef hat and American flag drawing in hand written journal)) Aren’t I artistic today? I also ate two Pop-Tarts with honey and an huge cheese omelet. Talked with Dan for quite a while and went with him to the store to get a quart of milk. As he ate, I just relaxed and thought. Did that for quite some time. Toward noon I decided to go get groceries and then use the public phone to call some people. I talked to my sister in law, Cheryl, for about 10+ minutes and then called my girlfriend, Connie. She sort of made me realize that part of the problem I was having stemmed from relying on other people to hike with. After this talk I became determined to leave tomorrow – with or without anyone else. I didn’t call Mom right away because I thought she would be at the grocers or hair dressers.

Went into Kroger and bought $20 worth of food which included tonights barb-b-qued fried chicken, applesauce, and peaches. Came back and set up my hammock and laid around observing and listening to Chipping Sparows. Later, I walked to the 7-Day Market and called Mom. I purposed my idea that their vacation be to the Shenandoah National park where I would meet them there. At that time let them know whether or not I was ready to go home. Ok with mom, but I don’t know what Dad will say.

Fried and bar-b-q’ed the chicken, made instant mashed potatoes with chicken gravy and applesauce. All turned out very good, as Larry and I chowed down; him on white meat, me on dark. After we stuffed ourselves, we let Bruce eat up the rest. Gene helped too. Laid around to get everything settled a little. Larry didn’t want to eat the peaches just yet. Later on, I took a walk with Chuck & Bruce, and ended up playing basketball with a guy named Mike for an hour or more ‘till we were pooped. He drove us to Kroger where the boys bought some beer and later, some ice. They started drinking, and nightfall came. I made two batches of TV time popcorn to satisfy Larry’s craving and he had some A&W root beer to drink. I ate my peaches (29oz) all by myself and a little later went to bed so I could get up in time to get a lift from Bob’s folks. I squeezed some junk from my left heal sore that smelled like a dead bird or something! Horrible, almost unbearable. No wonder it hurt so bad with that gunk in it. Hope it gets better. (interesting fact: this same sort of thing happened on my second trip in 1983.)

(I am not sure of the date, but I think on this day I witnessed Bob’s eating prowess at the Pizza Hut. He consumed 19 pieces of pizza at the AYCE buffet! I think I was in attendance but the journal does not make mention of it, which I find unusual for such an event as this. Perhaps it happened the day I ran into them leaving Pizza Hut and was only told about the feat. On a side note, he also carried an extra food bag strapped to the outside of his pack while he hiked. The man could definitely eat!

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981