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May 29, 1981 Sunday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

We were entertained all night, and early this morning by mice at Cable Gap shelter. The shelter was a four man deal with 2 bunks above and two on the bottom. Even though we had our packs hung, we were amazed as we watched an acrobatic mouse just run up and down the cord. I got up and beat the pocket where a mouse was eating on my peanut butter again (packed inside a plastic Gerry tube). I hit it a couple good ones and it ran out of the pocket, and up the pack. I hit him again and gave it a good jolt. He got away, but I think he got the message. I then took the tube of peanut butter that had been chewed on before and stuffed it in a hole where the mouse had been running in and out. I guess I figured I would stuff it down their throats in a way.

Alarm went off at 6:00 am this morning but didn’t get up until 6:30. Made oatmeal & hot chocolate, and hit the trail soon afterwards clad in my tennis shoes. My feet had been killing me and I had to see how it would go wearing them. It didn’t seem to help too much. My white gym socks have been wet and didn’t dry overnight. I eventually switched to my boots without the gym socks. Feet a little loose as a result. Lesson 3: wear proper socks and hiking boots, and make sure they are broken in before you start.

The trail went up and down for a couple of miles then it was pretty much all downhill for the rest of the day. Made it to N.C. Highway 28 at about 9:30 then pushed on to the dam.

When I arrived at the dam, I utilized the pay phone near the visitors center to call the Marine Locker back in Illinois and talked to Mom, Dad, and Carl. I also took a nice hot shower at the dam since a nice shower room was available, and best of all – free! John appeared and used the phone to call home, and then Bruce, Chuck and Mike finally showed up. We hung around there for a while before getting a ride from a nice couple in an Oldsmobile on their way to Fontana Village. Somehow we were able to stuff our 4 packs in the trunk . I sat up front because I had taken a shower. We took a room at the Village for $31 split four ways. Which turned out to be a nice little cabin. We washed clothes, and then bought some stuff to make a pizza – mix, cheese & mushrooms. The oven heated up, but didn’t get hot enough to bake the pizza so we had to borrow the oven of another group from Florida. The crust never did work exactly right but wasn’t bad. Had chocolate ice cream also. There is a square dance exposition here, TV, pool, golf, everything! Nice place. Plan to get supplies tomorrow. Watch TV, etc tonight. Will sleep on a rollaway couch bed.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1981