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May 19, 1981 - Tuesday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

During the night, a tremendous storm blew in quickly catching us (young Bill and I ) camped below Gooch Gap Lean-to. The tent stayed dry inside except for a little dribble. Didn’t get up until around 10:00 and got going late. Older Bill decided to hang it up, and went to Suches to get a ride home. Now down to just one Bill and me.

We walked approximately 14 miles to Neel’s Gap (so much for our 5 miles per day). We had made it to Neel’s gap and are very glad, especially since there was a large supply store, and boarding with one room left. We grabbed it for $15 ($7.50 a piece). We plan on sleeping late and going only 5 miles or so tomorrow. I had to learn to walk a new way to keep my blister from getting worse. I think they may even be getting better. The fog today was great, but views were limited until the top of Blood Mountain. Took a lot of senic shots. I possibly saw a bear cub while on the way down from Blood Mountain. Something caught my eye, but not sure what it was. I had a hot shower this evening at the Walasii Inn, and washed my shirt and socks in the basin. Saw another orchid and this time took a picture of it. We won’t get to another supply store for about 100 miles so we have to pack a lot of food. The owneres of the Walasii Inn have a large German Shepherd dog that roams the house and is very freindly. Our room seems to be connected and more or less part of their home from what I can remember. I carried part of a stick of Summer Sausage that I had been nibbling on from the start of the trip that my father had made and given to me at when I left Illinois.

(Although we did not know anything about this yet, on this date: May 19, 1981 Appalachian Trail hikers Susan Ramsay and Robert Mountford Jr., both 27-year-old social workers from Maine, were last seen at a Bland County, Virginia store, about 500 miles north of us.)

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981