Cathedral Pines

Images from
this date

What You

Progress Map

Other Images

Contact Gonzo!


Aug 3 , 1983 Wednesday (701.5 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Had a nice sleep last night even though I thought the traffic would keep me awake. Passing cars could not awaken me once I had drifted off to sleep. Stopped at the post office to mail off the guide books that I no longer needed. Called Fred again and this time woke him from his slumber. Thought that maybe we could meet and do some hiking together, but we made no plans other than that I would call him again from Tyringham. I continued on up the trail.

Dark Ravine was nice, but too "dark" for any pictures. My recollections of the place 19 years later amounts to nothing, so with no recollection and no photos, the place is just a mention in my log as "being nice". It is unfortunate, but many of the interesting places along the route have faded from memory. Memories that at the time seemed like they would last forever. I used to be able to remember the names of each shelter that I stayed in each night with no problem. Now, as I re-write this log after not even reading it since it was written in 1983, I struggle with maps and guides to piece together the last surviving recollections of the trip. Some parts may seem to be lacking in description. That is true, but I did not want to add anything that really did not happen, or exaggerate too much from the truth.

Cathedral Pines is another area that has not even a mention in my log. My memory of the ski resort just past that is stronger than the memory of passing through an ancient stand of pines. A ski lift was something new to me, but trees I had been seeing constantly for nearing three months now. (note added 2008: I seem to recall that perhaps the Cathedral Pines area had a reroute due to a hurricane a year or so before I passed through, and many of the large trees had toppled. Therefore I never got to see them.)

None of the shelters in this stretch seemed to have any water. No pumps, and the springs were dry. The summer drought was beginning to affect the water table more than I cared for. There is a shelter register from this area (that apparently I did not visit and the exact shelter name has not been determined) with more thru-hiker entries. There are no enties from August 3, the day I passed by, but Bruce Berlin, who I had been hiking with back in Pennsylvania, signed in on the 4th.

Somewhere near this mystery shelter, I did manage to find a Pepsi machine located at the intersection of the A.T. and highway 43. I did not visit Pine Knob Lean-to, but checked out the spring - it was barely flowing. Sometimes at springs like this I spent up to five minutes collecting enough water to fill my pint bottle. The climb up Barrack Mountain proved tough and rocky, but at the road crossing of Conn. 7 after the descent, I found a nice restaurant where I had heard that they always ask thirsty hikers the same question: "Are you real thirsty?" Of course the proper response they intended to get was "yes, I am very thirsty" With a smile, they would then put the small cup down that they had in their hand and grab a much larger cup to fill up. Very nice people. Their private register had just run out of space so I was the lucky one to christen the new register with the first entry. I don't remember what I wrote. Something really sappy I imagine.

Just before the Iron Bridge over the Housatonic River near Falls Village, I opted for the blue-blazed trail rather than the official AT road walk to the bridge. The blue-blazed trail followed near the edge of the river. In the river, I washed my socks and shirt, and then relaxed for a bit. As I neared the bridge, I noticed a couple of girls by the river and decided to chat with them. My main goal was to find a source of water. One of the girls, named Terri, said that there really was no public fountain or anything like that, but offered to get some from her house just across the bridge and up the road a bit. To that point I had traveled 24.7 miles so the additional mileage to her house put me right at twenty-five. It was time to find a place to stay now. At the house, I was welcomed by what seemed to be some sort of a party, at least they had company - besides me, that is. I was quickly extended much hospitality, which included a meal of meatloaf, and potatoes. I visited with her folks and some others visiting from Tennessee long into the evening (Kathy Still, Lori Candido, Steve and Terri Wingard). I was offered the option to stay at their home, and accepted. I chose to sleep outside on a lounge in the backyard because I told them I would be leaving before they were up and did not want to wake them. After two days in Connecticut with twenty-five miles or more each day, I decided I would go for a record and attempt to put 100 miles down in four days, and finishing Connecticut in just four days time.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

NextFrom the Beginning