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June 15, 1983 Wednesday (1617.5 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Set the alarm to go off at 6 am allowing us to enjoy the comfort of the real beds for an extra ten minutes this morning, and used the snooze button when it went off to soak up that comfortable feeling even more. We continued our short stay in luxury by deciding to eat breakfast at the restaurant. I ordered three pancakes for $1.35, and a glass of orange juice ($1.00). Good pancakes, but I could have used a little bit more syrup. Apparently I was still hungry, I scavenged a slice of toast off of an adjacent table when its' occupants returned to their trucks. The draw of civilization could keep us there no longer, and we finally managed to break away at about 7:30 am. Hiking through the next section of trail proved fairly easy and we traveled the following seven or so miles fairly quickly. Some of the trail took us on roads and through farmers yards and pastures. Sometimes I wondered what these people thought about having the trail encroaching on their privacy. We passed up a pair of female thru hikers known as the "Go Go Girls" within a couple of miles. Once more we set foot upon part of Brushy Mountain. We crossed interstate 81, which we would run into again later in the trip. One of our longer road walks ended as the trail took a turn into a picnic area complete with Pavilion situated on the side of the road. It was named the Olistery Community Picnic Area. A note posted on one of the uprights supporting the pavilion indicated that the resident adjacent to the property was kind enough to allow hikers to fill their water bottles at his hose outlet. We took advantage of his offer. The shelter was a welcome sight as the skies looked as if it were getting ready to rain. While at the pavilion, a local man showed up and inquired if we had seen some particular hiker that he was worried about. We had not seen anyone other than the Go Go Girls, who arrived at the picnic area shortly afterwards. We ate lunch at the pavilion after having traveled twelve miles.

We pressed on after lunch and within a mile of leaving the safety of the roof, the rain began to fall. Fortunately the rain only lasted for about two miles and then the sun came out for the rest of the day. Basically there were three climbs today, the last one taking us past a spring fed pond, where we filled up our canteens and large two gallon water bag for use tonight at the dry shelter on the top of Chestnut Knob. We carried the 8 pounds per gallon 1.7 miles to an old rock hut situated in a grassy field near the summit. The hut was our palace for the night, but was not very inviting on the inside. The openness of the field allowed viewing the hazy sunset that evening. Today marked our one month anniversary on the trail. With that in mind, I felt like a king as I sat on the thrown out back and surveyed the surrounding countryside, as if I were the ruler of the ever changing landscape. This shelter was not officially listed anywhere in the guides yet, and perhaps that is why it was not very appealing - the place was not ready for occupancy. Inside, the hut had a rock floor as well, and a couple of picnic tables that Jim and I decided would make better sleeping platforms than lying directly on the uneven rock floor. Our hopes were that we could avoid mouse activity as well. Totally enclosed shelters such as this tend to be dark and dreary on the inside. Even though this one had windows, there were not enough to light the whole inside sufficiently.

Today we saw two wild turkeys along the roadwalk, and also some pink Flame Azaleas.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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