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June 16 , 1981 Tuesday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Finally had a decent night of sleep, but awoke sometime during the night to the sound of clanking bottles and a person fumbling around nearby. Quickly fell back asleep though. A night without back pains! Enjoyable.

Had grits with blackberries and all the rest of the normal things. Was up at 5:30 am, but couldn’t get Chuck going. Started hiking in cool temperatures at 6:10 heading for the first shelter where Bruce, Pat, plus Bill & Jean from NJ were at. The trail from Nolichucky to the shelter had several blow downs and was like an obstacle course. Made it to the shelter in about an hour or more and all were in bed or just getting up. I waited around and left with them later, just as Chuck was arriving. He took a break at the shelter.

Headed for “Beauty Spot” for “lunch”, but stopped at Indian Grave Gap for a break. Chuck caught up to us at Beauty Spot. I took a couple of pictures at this spot. Decided to move on because the mountain looked steep, but still was able to make about 3 miles in 1 hour and 10 minutes. I then took a relaxing break near the benchmark in a pine forest on Unaka Mountain. Pushed on to the shelter and got there in about 1 hour. Cherry Gap shelter was the place. I arrived around 3:00 with about 15 or 16 miles for the day. Looks like a nice shelter. Today as I hiked, there were thousands of grasshoppers jumping out of the way with every step I took - to avoid getting stepped on. It was a hot day, but enjoyed the nice break with good views on Beauty Spot.

Rice with onion soup tonight and vanilla pudding . Didn’t need anything more than that after all the food I ate in Erwin. Chuck talked about eating a large dinner, but was having a lot of gas and belching like my brother Carl sometimes does, and didn’t even finish his first main dish. Bruce and Pat fixed some beans they just got in the Hot Springs freebee care package. A campfire was hard to get started, there was hardly any wind. Pat was pissed about how I always take up space when I choose a spot to sit. I said I was there first and could sit anywhere I please then flipped her off. She bugs me at times. Started off as a nice clear night with the full moon rising.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981