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July 5, 1983 Monday (1239.3 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Everything 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.

Arriving 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.

Gravel 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 touchy.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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