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June 21 , 1981 Sunday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Woke up with a little pain in the back. Wish I could just try a hammock to see if it would work. Tried to get Chuck up because he had mentioned that he wanted to write in his journal. Failed again. I knew he couldn’t get up. I fixed a very enjoyable breakfast of two fried eggs, grits and oatmeal, and Pop-Tarts. I fried the eggs in the lid of my cook kit. The second egg turned out much better – it had boiling water underneath it first. In a way I sort of double boiled it. I did not have any salt, but they were still good. I used a little “butter” as grease(must have borrowed it from someone). I am left with seven eggs and a good size hunk of cheese for the road. I’m trying to eat most of the food in my pack to make it lighter. No one seems to know where they want to go tonight, or is very active at all. Chuck wants to go back to the beach and bum some free food or beer. Finally decided to move on. Just before the dam, I spotted some ripe raspberries! Picked a bunch to save to eat with supper. Made it over the first little half mile D.I.T.Face after the dam crossed Watauga lake road. Everyone felt hot, so we decided to drop down to the lake and take a swim, then later move on to the next shelter – Vandeventer - 4.5 or so miles from where we were. Descended down a steep hill to the lake, realizing we would have to go up it later. Washed my hair and took a little dip. While lounging around I began reading “Interview with the Vampire”, a paperback that one of the other hikers had finished reading. Had lunch of Pop-Tarts, Snickers, crackers, cheese and summer sausage. Finally hit the trail between 1:30 and 2:00 pm and ran into a terrible overgrowth of raspberries and nettles. Not more than a couple of miles before the shelter I found Bill sitting on the trail waiting for Jean to come back with water from a spring down the blue blaze trail .3 miles. Nice cold clear water, but very long and difficult to get to and back.

At the shelter we were treated to terrific views of Watauga Lake and a little town next to it from behind the shelter. I noticed there are very many different kinds of fungi on the trail today. I am fascinated by all the different colors and styles.

Dinner tonight complements of Chuck’s foodbag -via freebee care package (Warren Doyle’s food?). Some unknown seven minute wonder type freeze dried meal. After we mixed macaroni, rice, butter, cheese flavoring, & chicken flavoring it was really good, but there was so much of it Chuck had to boil water a second time to finish off the package. Straight, or the mixture, either way it was very good. Desert of chocolate pudding also compliments of Chuck. Later, I ate the cup of berries I had picked earlier. MMM! What a treat. I think everyone is trying to feed me so I have to give them some of my summer sausage. They want me to find out how much it will cost to get them a stick. Later in the evening, I sat on the “veranda” (overlooking rock behind shelter) and drank in the view below. As it became dark, the lights of the town started popping out and appeared very beautiful. Decided to go 15 miles to the next shelter tomorrow - unless the Eastman Tennessee S & M club hasn’t cleared the trail again, and if that is true then Chuck and Bruce may hitch at Tenn 91.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981