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July 23, 1983 Saturday (904.7 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

This 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.

I talked 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 content list)(see postal receipt)

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.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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