Hall Mountain Lean-to

Images from
this date

What You

Progress Map

Other Images

Contact Gonzo!


Aug 31 , 1983 Wednesday (264.6 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

I woke this morning to a large bulge suspended over me, but thankfully contained by my waterproof tarp. The rain had come last night as I had suspected it would, and continued to fall softly around the woods. The water had pooled in the tarp above me and provided the bulge (get your mind out of the gutter). Lan was up and moving about and preparing to leave even before I began to emerge from my blue, NorthFace Cat's Meow, mummy style sleeping bag. I was sluggish this morning as I knew I would have the unenviable task of packing up in the rain. From my shelter under the tarp, I told her I would see her later, and off she went. I ate my breakfast and then packed up what I could under the protection of the tarp before shedding the gallon or more of collected rain from the tarp. As the drizzle continued to fall, there was nothing more to do but roll the tarp up wet, and hope to dry it out later, so I shook off as much moisture as I could and stuffed it into my pack.

Aided by the added moisture on the trail, I followed - sort of - the tracks produced by Lan as she slopped down the trail until I reached Dunn Notch Falls four miles later. The stream was overflowing due to the additional rain, and I had to be ingenious and skillful to find a way to cross the West Branch of the Ellis River. Although not really what you would call a large river, the flow was quite wide. I hopped from exposed rock to exposed rock and landed on the other side without incident. Near the falls I discovered a pair of socks and underwear hanging to dry. I looked around and saw no one. As I continued on, I noticed the "tracks" I had been following disappeared beyond the side trail to the falls. That must have been Lan's underwear! Was I missing something? Should I go back?

I continued on and began an ascent that would lead me to Surplus Pond, and then on to Hall Mountain Lean-to. The trail from Surplus Pond to Hall Mountain Lean-to involved an ascent of Wyman Mountain before dropping down to the shelter on the adjacent mountain. At the shelter, I found "the Maximus," Butch and Rob. I told them about Lan, and they said that they had not seen her. I guess those were her underwear! We waited and finally she arrived at the shelter. She had gone down to the base of the falls as I was crossing near the top. She did not say if she was naked or not. Max recounted his story of how last night he had stayed at Surplus Pond on the porch of a small cabin along the shore. In the morning he had just built a small fire on the ground out front to burn his trash when a car drove by and spotted his fire. The guy stopped and yelled at him for starting the fire. Max explained to him about burning rather than polluting, (or carrying extra weight) and the guy understood, but requested that he leave anyway.

What is happening to my miles now? I stop after just 10.7 miles and spend the rest of the day just lounging. I suppose it is because the next shelter is nine miles farther along with a couple of real nasty climbs in between. Winston had warned me about Moody Mountain back when I spent some time with him at Lake of the Clouds. Of course he had gone down what I would be going up, but he said it was a killer. Life is good, what is the hurry? That afternoon I took a blue blazed side trail from the shelter to a look out, but saw nothing but the fog. No views today. I listened to the birds, and looked for small mushrooms just popping up. I intended to watch one for a while as it expanded and grew. I never found any small enough, and the ones already up were just that - already up. I did see many birds though.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

Next From the Beginning