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July 18, 1983 Monday (967 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

I got up this morning with the intension of hiking a short nine and a half miles to the Pinnacle, which was mentioned in the guide as "a must see, as it is the most worthwhile and scenic viewpoint along the AT in Pennsylvania," where I intended to "dry camp" at the area posted as "No Camping." From the moment we woke up, we could tell that it would be a scorcher. We took our time getting going, but up the side of Blue Mountain I went. After a mere five miles the heat was getting intense and it seemed the lazy days of summer had arrived.

I pulled into Windsor Furnace Shelter and waited for the rest of the bunch to arrive. Since we were set to meet Mike the schoolteacher at Allentown shelter just 16 miles away, I decided that this was as far as I needed to go today. Why not stay at the "furnace shelter" and experience the full heat of the summer. My short day had turned into an even shorter day! The rest of the hikers elected to do the same thing. The deciding factor for Fuzzy Jim was when he discovered on the map that he could walk down a nearby jeep road, hitch into town and bring back some beer. I put in my order for some rootbeer. Off he went.

During the time that we had - all afternoon - Tim decided to excavate the fire pit that was full of ash that had become mud after the rain yesterday afternoon. He carefully removed most of the ash, uncovering some rocks beneath, and built a nice circular enclosed burning area with the help of a few of the other Pennsylvania rocks lying around - the pit was now all ready for the next campers that might need a little fire for warmth. We certainly did not need any. Tim was also a great fan of cooking his meals over an open fire. Most thru hikers use some sort of stove, and I think he had one too, but liked building fires. I typically only used a fire if I felt that I needed to conserve gas. I carried a one liter aluminum fuel bottle and tried to avoid filling it up too often since most stores only sold gallon cans. Unless there were other hikers around needing fuel, the rest would go to waste, or be left for the next hikers that came by.

Fuzzy made it back from the store carrying sufficient beer to go around, but no rootbeer! He claimed that he went to three different places but no one had any. A & W can be difficult to find at times. No big deal. Just after he returned, Two other hikers arrived. Marcel Montville or "Rhode Island Red" as he was known, and Mark Dimicelli, the hiker who had caught up to me at Duncannon. They decided to stay also. The shelter was full, but the atmosphere was once again jovial. Fuzzy started a new register at the shelter after finding the old one had gotten full. Since he was the originator of the register, he decided to make the rules a little different for this one and listed the rules right up front: "this is a register unlike any other, it is a register for writing "slick, sick, shit." None of that regular stuff like how many miles you had done, where you were headed, no self pity, etc." I would like to have read it when it was finished.

Marcel told me about how when he started the trail he was about 70 pounds heavier than he was now. What inspiration for those wanting to loose weight. I had also heard stories about Mark, and how fast he was hiking. Today I saw his three inch diameter bundle of stick matches that he carried to start his fires, and therefore don't doubt the story about how he was hiking along one day when smoke began emerging from his pack. He was streaking along the trail, bouncing so much it resulted in his matches rubbing together and self igniting. If it was not true, it is a good story. I do think that carrying matches like that is not a good idea. One bic lighter was sufficient for me.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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