Images from
this date

What You

Other Images

Contact Gonzo!


June 1 , 1981 Monday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Got up with the aid of my alarm at seven because Chuck said he wanted to get started early. He failed to get himself up until later though, so I just fixed my breakfast of plain oatmeal with some dried peaches and gorp thrown in. A little cinnamon flavoring and sugar, and it wasn’t too bad. A cup of hot chocolate and I was ready to go. Had a lot of time to spend so I wrote in my record. After a while the others began to get up. Some people said they heard a hog last night, but Mike said it was probably him snoring. I heard Mike snoring a few times last night, but was not awakened by a warthog.

Mike kept telling Bruce to get out some oatmeal. All of a sudden Bruce ran out the door while chasing Mike and threw a rock at him. Apparently Mike had unfolded his sleeping bag last night and found Bruce’s jacket in the bottom. No one knew how the jacket had gotten there, but Mike must have found it late last night and put it in their food bag for Bruce to discover this morning. His running trip last night did not have to happen.

Charlie was the first to leave this morning, about an hour or forty-five minutes before everyone else. Chuck and I pulled out about nine or nine-thirty. We had nice hiking all morning and reached Spence Field shelter about 11:30am. We decided to eat lunch at the shelter as it began to sprinkle about the time we arrived.

After lunch, we ascended to the top of Rocky Top and had a little bit of a nice view. I pushed on and scared up what I thought was a bear. I don’t know exactly what it was since I didn’t see it, but I believe it was a bear. During our next ascent, it started pouring just about the time we reached the summit of Thunderhead, and didn’t stop completely until we finally reached Derrick Knob Shelter. We, or should I say I, thought we were on an old AT route when I noticed a sign which read “relocated in 1971” – but it didn’t say whether the trail was the relocated one or the old one. It seemed funny to me that there were very few white blazes after Thunderhead. This did not help in providing any confidence that we were on the right path. It seemed like we went for miles before we came to the next shelter. My hip began bothering me after lunch. It was just sore where the belt touched. Going uphill was ok on it though.

My boots are now soaked, but I’m in the shelter - dry. The sun popped out every now and then as we sat around the remainder of the afternoon. I fixed freeze-dried pork chops for supper. The juice used to soak the chops in was flavored, so I boiled it, added rice, potatoes and butter. Not bad. Both of my T-shirts are now wet – have to get one dry, perhaps both, somehow. (Lesson 4: you only need one t-shirt and one town shirt. An extra t-shirt is extra weight). An older man and his son were already at the shelter along with Larry. When discussing my blister problems and hearing about how I was having problems with the moleskin not sticking very well in these damp conditions, the man, John, told me to get some Tincture of Benzoin to smear on my skin before applying the moleskin to help it stick better. When it dries, it leaves a very sticky residue that helps the dressings stick better. Mike stayed up a little later than normal this evening trying to get some of his socks and boots dry by the fire. I was woke up several times during the night by John’s son Jack as he tossed and turned every few minutes. I had generally been sleeping good, but it seems the bunks in the Smokies play terrible tricks on my back muscles and joints.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981