29 , 1981 Monday From Gonzo!s Appalachian
Got up early -5:30 am. Got everything ready, ate only one Pop
- Tart, and walked four miles to the Village Truck Stop restaurant.
There I ate 3 pancakes for breakfast complemented with two pieces
of toast that I scrounged from a nearby table after the occupants
had left, but before the waitress took away their plates. My sweet
tooth and need for calories led me to confiscate four individual serving
tubs of Kraft syrup to pour on my breakfasts of grits. I hung out
at the restaurant while Peter and Bob Stoker went into Atkins. Peter
had been having trouble with his Jansport pack frame for several days
now, and was expecting a new pack frame sent to him by the company.
The side hip belt supports had broken, he called the company and they
agreed to send him a new frame to the Atkins Post Office. The frame
had not arrived yet so he filled out the card necessary to have it
forwarded. He mailed a letter to Connie for me, and also purchased
two boxes of Pop-Tarts, some peanut butter, and bread for me at the
local grocer. He continued on down the trail, but I stayed waiting
for Bob to get back I was watching his pack while he was gone.
When he returned, I decided to eat a hamburger, but Bob pushed on.
I quickly finished the burger, and took off myself.
At the third gate, crossing a fence, the trail was obscure as to where
it went. Taking a respite for a bit, I heeded mother natures
call and afterwards consulted the guide book. Not long afterwards,
I talked to a guy on a tractor in the process of mowing the side of
a hill. He told me it was his land we were on, so I thanked him for
letting the trail pass thru it. He said another guy had just passed
recently. I figured it was Bob. I continued on and when I got to a
spot where brown was painted over white blazes, I stopped and read
the old guidebook lent to me by Peter. I figured it was the old AT,
but (I think it actually was) I pushed on because I had heard it was
blue-blazed. I came to an intersection later, only to find Peter washing
his socks in the creek. Neither one of us knew where Bob was. He was
somewhere in between us, but suddenly gone now. We had reached the
point in the trail where I had decided to hike the old AT. Peter took
off his way, and I mine. Uphill! Finally the 1st shelter! Big Walker
Mt. Shelter. The fire tower was gone and the spring dry. I decided
to push on to Monster Rock shelter even though it was already 3:00pm
and supposedly nine miles to get there. The trail was nice
ridge walking, but beginning to become over-grown with nettles
and berries since no one was actually supposed to be using or maintaining
that section any longer. My legs became scratched as I moved quickly
through the brush. I managed to reach the shelter at 5:30! Unbelievable!
Nine miles in two and a half hours! Inspired with my progress, I decided
to go another mile farther to where a restaurant was supposed to be.
It was more like a gift shop, but had a small refreshment stand. Had
a chilli dog, butter pecan pie and ice cream, and lots of cool water.
In the change that I received, I found a penny with a sticker on it
that showed an acorn and the words Big Walker Mountain.
Didnt really know where I wanted to stay, so I waited until
7:00 pm before moving up the road to the Big Bend Picnic area where
campers are not allowed. With the extra 3.75 miles, I covered a grand
total of 24 miles! New Record. Have not yet found the spring said
to be here. I will look in the morning after a hopefully restful sleep.