Gorham Rattle River Trail

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Aug 27 , 1983 Saturday (308.8 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Maildrop today in Gorham, NH seven or eight miles up the trail to the road crossing, and then a few miles into town via Route 2.

Leaving Imp Shelter, I climbed steeply to the summit of Mt. Moriah while bits of the song kept entering my consciousness. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the song out of my head as I hiked along…."And they call the wind Moriah." Dipping down and then back up to Middle Moriah Mountain, I began the descent to the road along the Rattle River Trail beside Rattle Brook. The miles flew by quickly as it was mostly gradual downhill and easy hiking. I flew by Rattle River Shelter and waved to its' occupants as I went by. At Route 2, the road to Gorham, I found another hiker hitching to Gorham. Now there were two attempting to hitch. That makes life more difficult. We eventually resorted to waving down a van using a pleading "why not?" gesture and were loaded up for the trip to Gorham. The lady was quite interested in Appalachian Trail hikes and was on her way to Wisconsin to spend a few days on a remote island.

Gorham is 3.6 miles off the trail, one of the longest hitches I have made to reach a post office. But there was more in this town than just a post office, but the Post office was the first stop. Once the mailing was accomplished, I set out to find the home with the garage loft set up to provide hikers a place to stay. The garage was located right along the main drag. I claimed a spot on the floor and took inventory before heading to the store for supplies. I treated myself to a chocolate shake and more at the local MacDonalds. Gorham was full of restaurants catering to the throngs of tourists that pass through to visit the White Mountains. A good reason for hikers to stop as well.

There were many thru-hikers congregated at the town, resting a few days before going for the last push out of New Hampshire and into the last remaining state: Maine. I found Cathy and Ron again, Nick Schmidt, Joe Kopec "The Mill Hunkey", Harry Train (ex-admiral of the Atlantic fleet), and Pauline. Later Roger Brickner came in looking for Mike Patch. Ray and Lysle, and their friend, James, the taxi driver were there too. A BIG crowd! Maximus and "Lan A.T. Hiker" had gone on before I arrived.

Late that afternoon I had a delicious Italian lasagna meal at a nice restaurant before buying some ice cream to take back and share with everyone else. I found giving the ice cream away to be unusually difficult, I guess everyone had been there too long and ate too much. I eventually got rid of it, but felt badly about having had so much trouble giving something away that usually people feel lucky to get. Civilization can soften a person. Later I discovered 50¢ hamburgers and ate once more. I did not record how many I ate.

Earlier at the post office I retrieved a package of goodies from Mom, who had sent it to me August 22 at a cost of $4.22 plus $1.70 for insurance. She had insured the package because it contained $150 in money orders she had just purchased for me since I was running out of my stash on hand. Besides the money, a pair of liner socks, and some Maine maps and guides, the rest of the package included mostly snacks - but quite a lot of them (see list of contents). Agreeing with Mom that Stratton, Maine was a bit far off the trail, I arranged to have another mail drop at Caratunk, Maine. I told mom that I would reach Maine either tomorrow, or the next day probably. I will officially have hiked from Georgia to Maine! (note from Mom)

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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