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July 6, 1981 Monday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

I woke up way too early – I could have slept longer here on the porch. I had a nice evenings rest; however. Looks like rain this morning. Fixed eggs and pancakes again so as to get rid of the heavy things, and things that go bad.

Someone actually does live here! They are in the house right now! (I think they came in late last night while everyone was laying in their bags on the porch. I vaguely remember waking and seeing them pass in the dark.) Packed everything up, then went to the general store just to see what they had. Pretty nice store. Next, I headed for the post office to get stamps and to mail post cards to Grandparents S, Connie, Amy, and Linda. Managed to get a ride the half mile to the trial where I began walking. The going got tough as the trail steeply ascended to the ridge crest. I began to sweat, and as a result, fogged my glasses, and all around generally pooped me out. Once at the top, the ridge walking wasn’t too bad though. The fog allowed no views. I did happen to get some later on, took one picture #30 roll 7 . At one point, the trail dipped down to avoid private property. It took me near a stream and an old cabin where I ate lunch and wrung out my socks because they had become wet. It had rained a bit last night and the undergrowth was still wet from the rain. Of course, having gone down the side of the mountain, I began a steep ascent back up to the ridge crest after lunch. It began to drizzle a little directly after lunch and now and then came down a little harder. On a section of the ridge with slanting slabs of rock that had to be traversed, the going became treacherous. The slabs pointed down to the valley at what seemed to be about a 45 degree angle of attack. With wet Vibram souls, the traction and friction was limited if not null. Very dangerous – at times probably could have fallen far down the hillside. I did fall several times, and almost broke my leg once or twice. To help build my spirits, I stopped and picked a few ripe blueberries to put in my pancakes, but did not save them all. I munched on blueberries and raspberries most of the afternoon as I waded inside my boots (once again moisture from the vegetation ran down my legs despite the use of gaiters). Sometimes the trail ran through thigh deep poison ivy that was wet! If I don’t catch it now, I probably won’t again. (Fortunately, I never did get poison ivy even though back in Illinois I usually got a good case of it every year) At the end of the day, I descended off ridge and finally made it to Niday Shelter around 3:13 pm – unfortunately, just after another downpour. I lost my sierra cup somewhere along the ridge, probably during one of my falls.

Fixed phase one of supper – French toast with sugar & cinnamon, and syrup. Peter strolled in about 5pm with my cup! Good deal – I can always use it and actually rely upon it a lot. Phase two consisted of something ….can’t really remember…probably pancakes? Anyway, Bob pulled in around eight and started munching out. Can’t believe how much that guy eats and drinks. I tried sleeping in the hammock, but it didn’t seem to be working out, so I slept on the shelter floor after all. Pistacio pudding for dessert .

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981