Aug 2 , 1983 Tuesday (727.2 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
morning I walked back up the blue-blazed trail .4 miles to the junction with the
AT, stashed my pack in the woods, and returned to the Broidrich's for breakfast.
I secured a needle and thread to fix my strap and sat down to a wonderful breakfast
of four eggs, toast, melon, tea, and two bananas. I also left their home with
some water for the day. Very nice people.
With repairs now completed,
continuing on brought me to the long steady ascent of Schaghticoke Mountain where
I caught up with a hiker on a training hike who had been stationed at Scott Air
Force Base near my home town. (His name was Pete
Van Why, known as "Tailwind" during his training hike, but during
his 1985 thru-hike used the name "The Cheshire Cat"). Dropping down
from the mountain I entered into the next state - Connecticut. Ten states down
and four to go! I stopped in at Chase Mountain Lean-to. i know this because I
recorded an entry there mentioning that I was trying to catch up with Mary
Kancevitch, Deborah Taggert, and their dog Kelly, collectively known as "The
Three Doberman's". I think it was just a goal for me to get me moving
down the trail more than anything. I was not fond of the dog; however, the two
ladies were very pleasant natured. To view the entire Chase Mountain Shelter register
after entering Connecticut, the trail bounced back into New York for one last
fling and just as quickly dove back into Connecticut leaving New York for good.
I picked up some young girls in that New York section who were determined to follow,
or should I say "race" me down to the water pump at Four Corners in
Macedonia State Park. The group of girls were members of a camp group from Kenwood
Camp for girls led by a couple of nice female English counselors. They had all
kinds of questions about hiking and what I was attempting to accomplish.
Up the next mountain, Caleb's Peak, I met Alan Savage. I had read his entries
in the shelter registers over a thousand miles ago - way back when. Apparently
he had quit, but was starting up again with this being one of his first days out.
I checked out the view of the river valley below from the peak, and then moved
on to the next view just a short few tenths of a mile past. The view from St.
John's Ledges was equally good. I picked my way down the steep rocky trail to
the Housatonic River Road below, and I soon outdistanced him in an attempt to
catch up to "The Three Dobermans," that I had met in Pennsylvania. Somewhere
along the four miles of trail paralleling the river, I caught up with them and
hiked with them all the way to Cornwall Bridge. One of my favorite memories of
this section was strolling through the pine plantation of tall, straight pine
trees over a level, quiet, cushiony soft, needle covered A.T. footway. A very
The trail passed directly through the town of Cornwall
Bridge at the junction of US 4 and 7. The junction is sort of like a roundabout
similar to those in Great Britain in that there is a piece of land around which
the lanes travel. In this case it was more of a triangle rather than a circle,
if I remember correctly. This central piece of land was like a small park with
trees and nice grassy areas. Outside the "roundabout" were located a
few business establishments including the liquor store that carried all sorts
of imported beers. It was common knowledge by this time in the trip that any hiker
passing through that had hiked from Georgia to their store was offered a free
beer of their choice. Most people went for the quart can of Foster's Lager,
the largest beer they carried, but I had an orange juice instead.
to contact Fred Steinbrecker on the local public telephone nearby,
a Shawnee Mountaineer climbing friend from college who was responsible
for getting me about $70.00 from the student activities counsel
to help defray the cost of my trip, but got no answer. He lived
somewhere nearby in Connecticut, I think. I talked with Mom, and
apparently told her I had done 25 miles yesterday, and another 25
miles today. It was the beginning of a trend. We talked about upcoming
town stops possibly in West Hartford, Vt., Hanover or Glen Cliff,
New Hampshire that were coming up. One of the determining factors
was if they were within .5 miles of the trail. I did not like to
stray far from the route. I may have asked to prepare a package,
or at least have handy, my rain jacket, and orange sweatpants that
I had sent home some time ago because summer was upon me and I really
did not need to have those items. If it rained, it was just a free
shower. Wearing a rain jacket at this time would cause you to sweat,
and become wet and uncomfortable - more than if you were just walking
in the rain. Mom commented about the small rock that I had sent
in the last package and I informed her that it was an "official"
Pennsylvania rock, just one of the many that I had seen in that
state. I stated that due to my 50 miles in the last two days I was
now traveling by myself. (notes
from Mom) She told me she had just sent a package, first class,
the day before, August 1, to Tyringham, Massachusetts - cost $4.50.
We talked for nineteen minutes today (cost $6.56)
I camped in the grassy area next to a tree enclosed on three sides by the highway
junction. The cars kept me awake for a while, but I got to bed around 10 pm and
was soon asleep after another 25.7 mile day.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983