23, 1983 Saturday (904.7 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
morning I still had chores to do. I gathered up all the items to
be sent home such as the snakeskin, exposed film, a couple of small
Pennsylvanian rocks, and a bottle opener that I had found while
in town with a local advertisement on it. Terri and I rode the local
bus to the town of Stroudsburg to buy groceries since we were told
that the stores there had a better selection. While there, I also
found a knee brace that I purchased to give me a little support
for the knee that continued to give me trouble. We threw some clothes
into the machines at a nearby laundromat and went to find something
to eat. Terri, being quite health conscious, found a natural foods
restaurant where I had stir-fried veggies and a peanut butter fudge
sundae. After eating, we felt a sense of urgency to return to the
laundromat. We quickly removed our clothes from the dryer, rushed
to the bus stop and caught the ride back to DWG just in time. The
bus only ran about every hour or so. We had been lucky.
with mom today for 24 minutes (cost $5.75). The record shows the
call from Stroudsburg, but perhaps Delaware Water Gap is also listed
as Stroudsburg by the phone company for all I know. I can't remember
exactly where the call was placed from. Apparently more people at
home were beginning to take an interest in my journey as these individuals
were telling my mom to say "hi" to me when she heard from
me next. What I was doing was out of the ordinary, no question about
it. No one from Highland, Illinois had hiked the Appalachian Trail
before, or had even heard about anyone doing something that absurd.
I was informed that my mail at home was beginning to "pile
up". I told stories about how hot it had been lately - at least
95 degrees or more I would imagine, and that we had begun the practice
of getting up early - like around 4:30 am and hiking as soon as
we could see. I gave instructions to send 2 dinners, four oatmeal
packets, alfalfa seeds, and more junk food. (notes
from Mom) Four days later, on July 27, she sent out a package
that included all of that, and and an amazing amount more to Cornwall
Bridge, Connecticut for $6.12 +.45 insurance. (See
Having decided to take the day off and let my knee rest, I took
part of the afternoon to explore the area around Delaware Water
Gap. I walked along the river looking for a good place to swim,
but decided not to swim. I found some bright red berries of the
variety that I had seen on my 1981 journey while in Virginia. At
that time I had never seen any like them before, and was not sure
they were edible. They looked too good, somewhat artificial, and
not at all like the red raspberries I was used to. I had since found
out that they were indeed edible, the locals called them wine berries
because they were so juicy. I picked at least a pint of them to
add to some vanilla ice cream later.
At the hostel there is a bulletin board where notes can be posted.
This is also the place where Roger Brickner has a sign up sheet
for "reservations" to stay at "Roger's Appalachia
Cottage" in New York, a few days hike out of Delaware Water
Gap. In order to keep from overcrowding, he has had to resort to
a reservation system. I had not met Roger yet, but I had seen signs
back in Georgia during my trip in 1981 that said "although
you might be cold and hungry now, Roger's Appalachia Cottage is
only 1230 miles away." He was known for giving free supper
and lodging to any hiker who had traveled the entire distance along
the trail to his home near Greenwood Lake, NY. I estimated when
I would be at his doorstep and filled in a slot on that date. Other
information on the board included a list of the shelters coming
up and a description of how the water source at that location was.
I recorded the list in my data book to help me plan where I "should"
be able to pick up water.
For supper I prepared and ate fresh, fried egg sandwiches, and for
dessert, the berries and ice cream.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983