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June 13 , 1981 Saturday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Got up by alarm at 5:30 am, expecting to do another fifteen mile day, but everyone said let us sleep another hour. I did, but then still no one got up for about another half hour . No one really felt like hiking so we decided to hike one and a half miles to Devils Fork Gap to US 23? then from that point hitch or walk to Erwin, Tennessee. Hitching proved difficult, so we walked on the road for several miles. Along the way we saw a man plowing a field using an old time plow drawn with a horse. Eventually, we got picked up by a guy in a black pickup truck, and Bruce talked him into taking us to the Erwin post office. We arrived there in time for Pat to get her packages. I called Mom, but my brother, Jay, was the only one home. He told me my money ($100) was at Erwin National Bank and all I had to do was pick it up. I went to the bank and found out that it was closed on Saturdays. What a disappointment. Now I’ll have to borrow from Chuck.

We walked across the street to a joint called “Bantams” to have dinner (lunch). I got out my trail food to eat while everyone else got real food by order. Talked to a couple next to our table who were from Michigan, I believe, and began talking about the trail. I told them I was eating the trail food because I ran out of money and my bad luck of banks being closed on Saturdays. The rest of the gang received their food, and I began eating just as the couple started to leave. Out of the blue and totally unexpected, the lady handed me some money and said “have a hamburger on us”. Great! How nice of those folks. Three dollars she gave me. I bought a hamburger and fries, and still had a dollar left! Packed up and went in search of a motel in town to stay. Apparently there were only two. Just as we arrived at Morgan’s Motel, there was the Australian hiker about to inquire about a room. Chuck and I had met him at Fontana . He was trying to get a room also, but no one would answer the door. Finally an old lady hobbled to the door and said there were no rooms. We knew that there were rooms, but have heard that they don’t like hikers for some reason and would not give us a room. Piss on ‘em!

Went by hitch to Nolichucky Expeditions and was welcomed warmly by Mike, the cook. $4 a night and about $2.50 per meal (supper). After getting settled in, Chuck and I went back into town, taken by another Nolichucky employee, Clarence, in a truck. Got groceries and washed a load of laundry. Before returning to Nolichucky, we stopped in a bar on Union Street near the PO while Chuck had a few beers and I a coke. Took us a while to get a hitch from there but by using the pleading technique, Chuck got us a ride which took us right there, totally out of his way. Part of the deal was that we had to wait to eat supper with the guides. A minor inconvenience, but we had spinach lasagna, baked potatoes, bread, salad, and a slice of watermelon. Stuffed myself! Plenty of food for $2.50. So much that I layed around the rest of the evening ‘cause I was so full. Slept in a bunk with a mattress tonight. Failed to call Mom back this evening.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981