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June 25 , 1981 Thursday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Awakened by alarm at 6:00 am. Felt a little sore in the back, but not too bad. No one else stirring yet. Got up and ate Frosted Flakes for breakfast - 3 or 4 large bowls full actually. Still a little left, plus some milk too. I’ll drink most of the milk before I leave. Packed the rest of my things this morning and am now waiting for eight o’clock, which is when the PO opens. Have to send the post cards I have written, but one I need a zip code for - Alhambra of all places. Quite cool and almost a bit nippy this morning. Looks like a fine day though. Got to the PO a little before it opened and talked to a couple older guys. I asked about rain – one said 40% chance for tomorrow. After the office opened, I looked up the zip code, sent the post cards and letter for Bill, and headed back to the hostel.

Bill and Jean were getting ready to go, and when they did, I went also. They stopped and purchased donuts and milk at a small grocery. We headed down the road, the start of a beautiful, hot day. Laurel Creek was very nice. I hiked parts of the trail by myself today – ahead of Bill and Jean. Along the way I stopped for a break by the creek, and also at a nice little pond full of bullfrogs. I set up my hammock there and ate a little lunch. Just as I was getting ready to leave, Bill and Jean arrived and I ate again. We headed off together thinking of stopping after about 14 miles near a small stream for water. When we arrived at the spot we decided to go farther to another campsite, but right in the middle …caboom! Thunderstorm! Got soaked to the bone. We kept hiking until we had put in about 17 miles, or right where the AT crosses US 58. Quickly set up camp in the rain and sat it out. It finally quit raining in about an hour or 1.5 hours, after which I ate a cold dinner consisting of peanut butter and jelly on bread, and almost all the German bar mix Mom sent. Nothing else to do so I read about the vampire, hoping to get farther on and possibly finish it so I can get rid of it. I think I’ll have a little pudding and that will conclude my supper.

I Just remembered the grouse along the trail that strutted and hissed with his tail spread as we walked by. Also earlier I heard a large group of crows cawing, maybe mobbing something. What a racket!

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981