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June 6 , 1981 Saturday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Didn’t leave camp until almost 10:15 or 10:30am. Pouring again! Oatmeal for breakfast, and cocoa. I left the shelter walking with Bruce, and walked down to the road leading to Davenport Gap for the second time. Past that, the section between the road and Big Pigeon River was superb. Very scenic. The best part of the trail so far. Cascade waterfalls that we had to cross several times and parallel for a mile and a half. Bruce lost his scarf in the brook, but I recovered it a ways downstream; accidentally running across it hung up on a limb in the flow. Some of the crossings were precarious, but I managed to keep my feet quite dry. Pat drenched her feet, as did Chuck. Chuck stopped for lunch at noon near interstate 40, but I pushed on with Bruce and Pat. I outdistanced them and ate lunch on what I thought was the road before Groundhog Creek shelter. I never found the campsite .5 miles afterwards that I thought would indicate exactly where I was. Had Pop-Tarts and a Snickers again. Afterwards I pushed on, and at 3:30pm got to a sign that says Deep Gap shelter -!? I didn’t have the next guide book and did not believe I had passed Groundhog Creek shelter, so I decided to sit here and wait for someone else to stroll by. If I have to, I can camp here. I’m almost sure though, that I have not passed it, unless there was no sign.

Nice cool temperature & partly sunny and breezy. Hiked since lunch with my t-shirt off – It was soaked. Feels pretty good. Had problems earlier with fogging glasses, but after I slowed up, the problem subsided. I was being super-hooshier for a while and hiking my ass off. Doing that is very tiring, but I did cover a lot of ground quickly. That’s why I am sitting here by myself now.

I decided to leave a note and go on. I left one note and traveled down the trail a few yards when I came across a blue blazed trail. I followed the trail and found a shelter. I didn’t know if it was Groundhog shelter or not. Went back up and changed the note, telling all to come down and join me at the shelter. Worked on a fire at the shelter for a while then decided to yell for some unknown reason. Someone yelled back! They were finally here. They came down, we looked at the guidebook and found out Deep Gap shelter and Groundhog shelter are one-in-the-same. They were glad I had left the note.

I saw two land turtles today, a few salamanders, heard many birds, and saw a multitude of mushrooms of varying colours. At 6:00 it tried to rain. Probably will rain later. It did - a little while later. Had chicken flavored noodles and mixed in cheese sauce, butter buds,and instant potatoes. We played fish and I managed to wipe out Bruce and Chuck a few times. The cards were falling just right for me. Went to bed thinking about the possibility of getting wet from water dripping from a leaky roof as it poured outside. Three weeks out today!

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981