7 , 1981 Sunday From Gonzo!s Appalachian
Thank God I and the rest are alive! What a night. About one thirty
we all suddenly awoke, everyone screaming and thrashing about. I still
had my flashlight in my hand from when I went to bed. I had begun
to sleep with it nearby just in case I needed it during the night.
The light shown all over in every direction almost like a strobe light
as I tried to keep Chuck from beating me to death with his air
pillow. I thought there was a bear outside or something, and the
some of us thought that the killer was attacking. Fortunately that
was not the case. We found out after the commotion subsided that Bruce
claimed some relatively large beast dropped on his head
and terrified him. He started the screaming, but Chuck couldnt
stop. I noticed that Pat was scrambling her way under the shelter
because she thought it was a rapist. I wonder what the poor critter
that fell on Bruce thought when we made all that racket. It took a
while, but everyone calmed down eventually, and had a good laugh.
We decided that if this sort of thing happened again - say a mouse
ran over your face, you would be obliged to yell mouse on face!
or something like that so we all would know what was going on. We
must have talked and laughed about it for ten minutes or more and
then tried to get back to sleep. A few minutes later as I lie there
waiting to fall asleep, I heard Charlie in a soft voice as he calmly
said mouse on face! I dont really know if it was
a joke, or if it had really paraded across his head. Eventually we
about four a.m. it almost happened again! Everyone heard something
running thru the woods. Someone started to scream, but Bruce yelled,
lets not start that again! We all calmed down
and had a slight chuckle, but nothing like the laughter that followed
the first incident.
alarm went off at 7:00am, I got up and fixed oatmeal with jelly
and spun honey, also a cup of hot cocoa. We only have to do about
ten miles today, then twelve tomorrow to arrive in Hot Springs to
get mail. We started out hiking together, but I pulled ahead as
usual. I didnt want to be ahead so I waited for the rest to
catch up and I positioned myself into the group at the rear. I knew
I had to stay behind someone or else I would get too far ahead.
trail today, sunny most of the time until the afternoon when it
clouded up. Ate lunch along Max Patch Road, eating Pop-Tarts with
spun honey. A Snickers candy bar was next. Charlie never caught
up even though we were there for at least 45 minutes. The trail
followed a gravel road for about four miles after that. Along the
way we ran into a group of southerners getting ready to party. They
gave a beer to Bruce and Chuck after they hinted that they didnt
have any water. In the meantime, they told us that another person
was murdered on the A.T. near where the others were killed. Said
they had heard it on the news last night. The group decided we had
to stick together all the time, and even thought about having guard
shifts all night. The party group said they (the authorities) were
trying to get the word out, and coax people not to hike until they
caught the guy. We are headed toward the killer and at the same
time he seems to be heading in our direction. Were getting
guns and I may have my knife sent to me.
is a mile climb from Lemon Gap, where the road walking stops, to
the shelter. The trail paralleled a nice babbling, cascading stream
where we had to take water. Chuck and I walked back 1.2 mile to
the stream because the spring at the shelter was supposedly stagnant.
Ate some wild strawberries today! They were small, but tasted like
strawberries. Not many ripe yet. Given a couple of days to a week,
and wow! Strawberry City! I arrived at the shelter about 3:00 pm.
Ate my seven minute wonder consisting of lasagna with a little oregano
thrown in complements of Charlies spice supply. We played
fish for a while, then went to bed. We did not hold watches yet
because we thought we were far enough away from where the killer
might be. The one thing disturbing everyone was that there is a
road 1.2 miles south of the shelter. Chuck and Bruce tended a fire
until almost midnight, then all were in bed but not necessarily
asleep. I drifted in and out of sleep, and my back was killing me
in the morning for the last few hours. That 3/8 inch thick ensolite
pad just is not enough padding. Bruce couldnt sleep either,
but when it came time to get up at 5:30 am. I was the only one to
get up and eat.