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Aug 17 , 1983 Wednesday (450.7 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

A gradual downhill brought us out of the woods and into the outskirts of the town of Norwich, Vermont this morning. Norwich seemed like a surprisingly large town, but not as large as Hanover, New Hampshire just on the opposite side of the Connecticut River. The trail followed a road out of Norwich down to the interchange on Interstate 91, under the Interstate, past the merging traffic from vehicles exiting the Interstate, and finally over the bridge into New Hampshire which was shrowded in a fog eminating from the river during the early morning hours.

The trail went up the road and straight to the center of town. I followed the blue-blazed trail to the DOC (Datmouth Outing Club) building and checked it out. Found out that I could take a shower at the Alumni Gym and was welcomed by those in the group who knew what we were - thru-hikers on The Appalachian Trail. I then made my way to the Talbard House, one of the fraternities on Greek Row that supposedly accepted hikers. Dropping my gear off there, I then headed back to the legendary Thayer Hall for lunch. The college cafeteria was known as the place to eat for hikers in town. For one price you could go in and eat all you wanted from a wide selection of foods. As you can imagine, I got my share, and then went for supplies and a visit to the post office. At the post office I sent some food to the Summit of Mt. Washington, many days down the trail in the heart of the White Mountains.

Not really being comfortable sleeping at the Frat house (if I was indeed even able to get some sleep at the house), and examining my schedule for the next few days, led me to the realization that I probably should move on so I could get my maildrop at Glencliff on Saturday. I packed up my gear and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon walked out of Hanover and ascended toward Velvet Rocks.

Somewhere near the Etna-Hanover Center Road I ran into Wade Skelton going southbound! I had met him in the Smokies while I was still with Jim. We had spent the night at Mt. Collins Shelter together. He had continued on, but decided to "Flip Flop" - the term used to describe those who hitch to the northern terminus midway through their hike and complete their journey hiking south. This usually is done to allow the hiker to finish the trail by avoiding the cutoff day for climbing Mt Katahdin, or at least avoiding snowy weather in Maine. If you do not happen to climb Katahdin by October 14, you may not be allowed to since they close the park to camping after that day. I was under the impression that you could not finish if you arrived after that date. Apparently that is when they consider bad weather time to begin. Now I know that the park is only closed to overnight camping after that date, but hikers can climb if the weather is good.

At some unspecified spot between the Etna-Hanover Center Road and Moose Mountain is where I camped for the night. I more or less just plopped along the trail, and set up my tarp, hoping it would not rain…it didn't. Mileage today between 12 - 15 miles.

My mother went to the post office today and bought $150 in money orders to be sent to me. Five $20's and one $50. (see postal receipt)

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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