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June 22 , 1981 Monday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Woke several times during the night due to the heat. Had to keep covered though or mosquitoes would keep me up as they fly by my ears. Next time I’ll use some bug repellent and see how that works. Got up between 5:30 & 6:00 am and got everything ready for breakfast, but am holding off to let people sleep. The SVEA 123 stove can make quite a noise. Unfortunately, the sunrise to the east is too much in the trees so I can’t really see it. Too bad. Made two eggs, oatmeal and grits, and Pop-Tarts once again. My egg preparation is getting better every day. The rest might hitch to Damascus, so I’m going to travel with Bill and Jean. I found out that their pace is equal or better than mine. Made it to Iron Mountain shelter in a couple of hours – moving very fast. Ate a little and then pushed on to Double Springs shelter, arrived there within a couple of hours, and sat there from about 3:15 – 4:00 pm, when a guy and a young girl came in from the north. Talked to them a little then decided to go down near highway 421 and look for a spot to camp out. This brought our mileage to about 18 for the day! Now I don’t have to go so far to Damascus tomorrow. I cruised the last 3.5 miles in one hour and three minute! I think these miles are short. We were moving fast, but…? Bill and Jean sure are nice.

(On this day, unknown to us, Randall Lee Smith is arrested after being found hiding in a wooded area near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

Photo: Randall Lee Smith (center) leaves the Giles County courthouse in 1982. He was convicted of killing Susan Ramsay and Robert Mountford on the Appalachian Trail in May 1981. He returns to the A.T. in 1982 and attempts to kill again - near the same place in Giles County.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981