1 , 1981 Monday From Gonzo!s Appalachian
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 wasnt 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.
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 Bruces
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.
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.
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 dont know exactly what it was since I didnt 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 didnt 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 didnt 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.
boots are now soaked, but Im 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
Johns 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.