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June 4 , 1981 Thursday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Got up around 8:30 am and wrote seven post cards, and boxed up a package to send home. I ate some of the oatmeal with spun honey and jelly I had received a couple of days ago. It’s raining again, of course. Upon leaving Gatlinburg, I will only have about $20, so the mail better come thru in Hot Springs, NC with my travelers cheques. I am going to have to cut down. Stop buying so much gorp material. Now we’re going to spend another night here. I wish I hadn’t gone off the trail – NO MORE! Especially like this time – too expensive. Nice Place but the way I feel because of it: Lllliiiiicccckk mmmeeeee!

I went to the post office and sent a package to Mom for 92 cents, plus seven post cards to various people. While out on the town, I tried to get permits to walk thru the rest of the Smoky Mountains, but as I suspected the day before, none were available. We were no longer considered thru-hikers in the park, so getting permits for anything other than that was almost impossible. I figured it would be hard for five people to get permits, but I couldn’t get one even if I was traveling by myself. In other words, there were no openings. Too many schools letting out! I walked around the town and found a place that takes those “Old Time Photos” where you can dress up in costumes like a cowboy and have your picture taken. I thought it would be a cool thing to have my picture taken dressed as a cowboy and have Pat dress up like the busty saloon girl at my side. It was a nice fantasy, but I did not have enough money to make it happen.

Upon returning to the house, I talked to a guy who lives above us on the second floor about our problem, and he said he would give us a ride to Cosby the next morning at 7 am– 18 miles. I checked the map, and it looked like a good idea. I think we’ll take it and then hike the road to Davenport Gap, find the trail there, and then stay at our originally planned shelter for the 5th - Davenport Gap shelter. Then continue on to Hot Springs and hopefully never stop in another town except for supplies. (Lesson 5: don’t linger in towns – no matter how fun it may seem). Went out to eat at Ogle’s buffet restaurant this evening, and ate too much once again. But not so much to prevent me from making popcorn tonight. Cost $7.45 or so.

Upon further conversation with Danny, I found out he had been drafted and stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War. Real nice guy.

Looking at my food supply, I believe I shouldn’t have to buy supplies for another two weeks or so (That is just too much food! Lesson 6: Do not carry any more than seven days or less if you can help it). My pack should be very heavy tomorrow with my four pounds of gorp etc.

Bruce found a Gideon’s bible in the dresser in his room. He burned it in the fireplace since there was no wood, and also because he was not religious and thought he should not have to be exposed to it, I think.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981