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May 17, 1981 Sunday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Up this morning about 6:30. Had 2 bags of apple & cinnamon oatmeal. It rained a little last night, and I was a little scared at times very early in the morning. I don’t know why, perhaps the fear of going on a journey by myself. The temperature at wakeup call, approximately 51 degrees. Looks like it will be a nice day after all. I made it to Springer at approx. 10:15 am. Already my heals are sore. I signed the register enclosed in a mailbox nailed to a large oak tree on the summit, and took pictures of both Bills and myself near the summit sign. I have been seeing many wildflowers, Solomons seals, False SS, Painted Trillium, White Trillium, Jack in the Pulpit, etc. It is very peaceful out here. There was water at the south, bottom (base) of Springer. Now that we have reached the summit, we follow the white blazes of the Appalachain Trail northward.

Had lunch of two instant chicken noodle cup-a-soups at Cross Trails lean to at approx. 12:30pm. A couple other hikers stopped just as we were finishing, and said they were going to Maine, but wanted to eventually go 20 or so miles a day. I wasn’t ready for that, but soon after we began hiking again, I realized that I should have gone with them anyway. So I said goodbye to Bill and Bill and took off screaming to catch up. Saw two yellow lady slipper orchids and about three deer. Also some wild iris – never saw any wild ones before – they were much smaller (approx. 2 inches diameter). I reached Hawk Mountain lean-to at 3:54 pm, just after stopping a bit earlier, eating a little summer sausage and wondering if I had taken the wrong route even though there were white blazes along the trail. I had Macaroni and Cheese tonight. There was water approximately 50 – 75 yards from the trail and sign pointing to it. I did catch up with the other hikers, but both Bills showed up at the shelter as well. I went to sleep with my pack leaning against the inside of the shelter just beside me.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981