Doyle Hotel Duncannon

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July 14, 1983 Thursday (1045.2 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Getting hotter. No need to hurry today with short mileage into Duncannon. As long as I get there in time for the Post Office. The only reason to hurry is to get out of the heat. There was only one climb today and it was 700 feet in about three quarters of a mile up the side of Cove Mountain before following the crest for about four miles and then dropping down into the Susquehanna River Valley.

I stopped for a break and to check out Thelma Marks Shelter along Cove Mountain. It was not a real nice shelter, but adequate. I met another hiker, Rich (Kozon?) at the shelter. He was waiting there for his mail to arrive in Duncannon. I suppose that he had run out of money and therefore could not afford to stay in town until he got his money in the mail. I had learned my lesson in '81 not to cut your money supply so close. Carry most of it with you in travelers checks and everything will be all right.

At a lookout point along Cove Mountain known as Hawk Rock, I stopped to drink in the view of the confluence of Sherman Creek and the Susquehanna River. From the lookout point the trail dropped about 700 feet down to Duncannon situated along the bank of the Susquehanna River. It was common knowledge to most hikers that the place to stay in the town was the Doyle Hotel, an old hotel with an old time atmosphere. You can't beat the price of $7.42 for a small room with a bed, desk and chair, and access to a community bathroom where a traveler can take a hot bath in the deep, old, claw foot bathtub. The place was kind of run down, but interesting. There were weekly and monthly rates available and there were residents who had taken advantage of the deal. At certain times, or days, the bar downstairs offered .25 cent drafts. I believe this is where I ran into "Fuzzy Jim" before he left Duncannon for the day. I think I caught him making a post card out of a beer coaster or something like that, which instilled the idea of making my own post cards by recycling the packaging materials I would normally discard from the articles I bought at the grocery store. From then on I did not buy any "real postcards". Relatives might get a card made from a Pop-Tart box, Macaroni and Cheese box, or some other item. I kept one "real" postcard in my pack to use as a template for size, and to determine where to crop the packaging material to bring out the art of the product.

I took the opportunity, while in town, to call home for 8 minutes (cost - $3.72 ) and began making arrangements for a package to be sent to Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, which should include a t-shirt, liner socks, wool socks, film, REI catalogue, and a small piece of mosquito netting (4x4 inches) to assist in growing alfalfa sprouts. I had also been asking about non-fat dried milk packets and wanted some of those as well. (notes from Mom) For some reason I gave the phone number of the pay phone at the Doyle Hotel to my Mom (717 834-9914) as shown on her notes. Perhaps she called me later on for some reason.

I stopped at the post office. Although I had expected some, there were no packages for me; however, there were a few letters. Nice to know someone was thinking of me.

The local sub shop was where I met the first hiker that had begun his Appalachian Trail adventure on a date later than May 15, and had caught up to me. His name was Mark Dimicelli. He was an interestingly strange kind of guy. He must have been on a real mission to put the kind of miles on that he had been doing to catch me.

Back at the hotel I spent the evening in the community entertainment room watching reruns of "Leave it to Beaver" and other shows. (note February 25, 2012: Marcel Montville contacted me and told me that this is where he and I and Mark first met. Mark was planning to run in the New York Marathon that year and had run the marathon in previous years. Marcel told me that Mark packed an unconcealed sidearm to protect himself from bears. At Fontana Dam one of the rangers confiscated his sidearm before he went through the park and returned it to him when he exited.)

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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