5, 1983 Monday (1239.3 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
was calm this morning, even as I suddenly became aware of the presence
of a bear at the edge of the woods. I watched as it made it's way
over toward where the boy scouts had entered the woods. It quickly
disappeared right down the path that the boys had made last night,
and I waited for the commotion to begin. Obviously all the scouts
were still sleeping, or were so scared they were unable to shout.
Perhaps the bear did not follow the path all the way to the campsite.
I never saw the bear - or the scouts again.
I took my time today, but still managed to put in twenty miles by
3:30 pm. Took a few pictures from Little Hogback Overlook. From
there I could see what appeared to be a storm approaching, so I
picked up the pace. I had three miles to go to Gravel Springs Hut
where I planned to spend the night. As I swiftly moved along, the
sky began to darken and the wind began to blow with more force.
I knew it was going to rain, but would it hold off for just one
more mile? With less than a mile to go, the storm hit. The rain
came down by the bucketful! I got totally soaked.
at the shelter, I found northbounders Patty
and Shawn, known as "the Fatheads", already in residence,
along with another guy heading south. Later a man named Burt and
his son came for the night. They were obviously short term campers,
they carried steak with them. After fixing their own steaks, they
had a good sized piece left over that they gave to me. What a treat!
It must have been an inch thick! I used Shawn's already running
stove to fry it up for my supper. Later on I ate some junk food.
Springs Hut was one of those split level shelters. Amazingly, there
were no bugs. I guess the rain had driven them off. No one seemed
to know what to do with their food bags today. For some reason there
was no bear pole to hang the food from. Should we keep them inside
and risk getting a citation from the ranger, or put them outside
for the bears. I strung up my entire pack outside, and then wrote
a couple of postcards to be mailed out when I reached the next maildrop.
Tom Charmichael arrived later on and I was surprised. I thought
he was ahead today and had gone farther up the trail. His stove
did not work, so I let him borrow mine. He was using a Coleman stove.
Watching others use this type of stove, I found them to be very
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983