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June 17, 1983 Friday (1571.4 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

The local post office in Bland opened in the morning at 7:30 am, so there was no need to get up too early this morning. We woke up at 6:45, ate breakfast and headed to the post office. I received a package, and letter containing $5.00 from Grandma. We returned to the store to purchase a few items for the road including fresh bread, peanut butter and jelly, and three nectarines. While standing around outside the store, we cornered the bread deliveryman into giving us a ride back to the trail junction. He really was not supposed to be giving rides to hikers, and I began to wonder where he was taking us as he wound around here and there, not following the road that we had come in from at all. However, he assured us that he would get us back to where we wanted to go. Suddenly we were there, but my senses were turned around as a result of the alternate route. Jim and I argued about which way was north toward our goal. I started hiking up a hill across the overpass, but then realized I was heading south. I turned around and resumed my hike in the proper direction rationalizing that I had actually not been on that very small portion of the trail anyway, so no harm done.

Shortly after resuming our hike, we crossed Kimberling Creek on an interesting log bridge. On the other side of the creek was a very nice camping spot that could have been our lodgings last night, but we had to go into town for mail. I made a mental note of the spot for future use.

Continuing on, we encountered Brushy Mountain again! We must have gone up to the ridge and crested out four or five times in the last thirty miles, but finally after ten miles of hiking this morning, the guide book indicated that we had actually reached the summit of Brushy Mountain! To celebrate, we ate lunch there and took a break. Here in Virginia, some of the mountains run for miles and miles parallel to other mountains also running for miles and miles.

It began to sprinkle just after lunch, and then increased in intensity a few miles farther down the trail in Lickskillet Hollow. A great uphill section brought us up Brushy Mountain again, and then down the other side toward Dismal Creek Falls.

Dismal Creek Falls is a nice area with the possibility of swimming, although I am not much of a fan of swimming. Besides, I was already wet from the continuing rain. We waited to put up the tent as the rain fell. During that time I just enjoyed the view of the falls from as many different angles as I could secure access to, and just took in the beauty and serenity provided as the waters flowed over the rock ledges. We pitched our tent at about six-thirty while there was a lull in the rain, and threw everything inside before it got any wetter. Nothing to do for the remainder of the evening other than lay around. Most people would be happy to just lay around, but I always felt like I needed to be on the move. Even though there were at least two shelters between our present location and the next resupply point and trail town, Pearisburg, Virginia, I thought that tomorrow I was going to blast to Pearisburg unless it quit raining. It is 22 miles to Pearisburg from Dismal Creek Falls. Tomorrow is Saturday, if we don't get there by the time the post office closes, we will be stuck in P'burg until Monday. If we take our time to get there, we still won't leave P'burg until Monday. What a dilemma.

As I lay in the tent the rain subsided. Since there was still light, I emerged from my chrysalis to explore the falls once again, this time with a camera. I walked barefoot over the falls to reach a point where the magnitude of the falls could really be appreciated. After having taken in the beauty of the falls once again, there seemed to be nothing else to do, so I fixed supper, ate, and went to bed.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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