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July 7, 1983 Thurdsday (1196.7 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

This morning the trail was just basic trail - get there from here kind of trail. Even the data book had only one thing listed for the ten miles between the shelter and Ashbey Gap. At Ashbey Gap, I found US 50 and turned onto the highway that led toward the small town of Paris, Virginia just up the road a bit. As I followed the road a short distance, I noticed a small restaurant situated along the road beckoning me to try its delicacies. It was the Paris Restaurant, so it had to be good. I stopped in for a hamburger and "French Fries," and met a southbounder named "Smitty." We probed each other for tidbits of information about the upcoming section of trail while we ate. I bought a few candy bars for the road. One was a Snickers bar, the number one favorite candy bar along the A.T. I liked to spread the top of them with peanut butter before eating. To me it not only tasted good, but seemed to be the best value as far as weight and calories for the money.

From the restaurant the trail followed route 601 for the next 12 miles. This road takes the hiker past the secret government facility at Mt. Weather, where it is said that the president and his essential crew would come in case of nuclear attack. The entire facility was fenced in with cyclone fencing sporting razor bladed barbed wire wound around the top edge. I saw workers with weed whips out trimming the lawn and imagined that they converted into machine guns at the touch of a button when the situation called for it. The trail continued past the facility and eventually descended into Snickers Gap. At that point I dropped my pack and took out the Snickers bar that I had purchased while I was in Ashbey gap. Silly thing to do, but on a twelve mile road walk you have to have something other than secret government facilities to keep you occupied. The trail continued on up the road out of Snickers Gap for another few miles.

Before leaving the road walk, I stopped in at a residence with a mailbox for someone named Tony Carbone. I had found out earlier that this man welcomes hikers at his residence. There was a "hikers welcome" sign out front, so I stopped in and knocked on the door. He came to the door and welcomed us, but said he was busy at the time, but we were welcome to relax out in the back yard. The place was set up with an outside shower, and an outhouse. Later he came out and we talked about his invention that he was getting ready to send to the patent office. It was a computer scanner and printer that he claimed could send a faximile over the phone lines, but had better resolution than any that were being looked at right now. He was an interesting man. Later, "the "fatheads" drove up with their driver, a former 2000 miler named Tony. I guess they figured they could cover the roadwalk by car and still consider themselves to have covered the route. I chose to spend the night at Mr. Carbone's house, as did they. The weather looked non-threatening so I slept on top of my tarp rather than under it.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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