Images from
this date

What You

Progress Map

Other Images

Contact Gonzo!


June 19, 1983 Sunday (1530.3 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Ate the remainder of my box of raisin bran for breakfast this morning. Today is Fathers day, and it is also Sunday. Since we were staying at the Holy Family Hospice, it only seemed right that we attend the church service right next door. Several of the hikers and I decided to attend the nearby church that ran the hostel this morning. Since it was Father's day and they were having a special service which included the sacrement of the Last Supper. Unless my taste buds deceived me, this was the first church that I had ever been to that actually used wine in their ceremony. Near the end of the service an announcement was made about having coffee and donuts! Well, I made sure I found my way to that benefit.

Being Father's Day, I made a call to home and talked with both Dad and Mom for 42 minutes (cost $8.85). I felt guilty that I had been running up the phone bill, but I don't think that they cared. I think, well at least I hoped, that the trip was as exciting for them as it was for me. I bragged of our 600+ miles we had travelled, and our record 26.7 mile day recently, and got addresses for a couple of people interested in hearing from me from my mom. She asked if I wanted instant oatmeal and hot chocolate sent. Since these were pretty much staple items, especially the oatmeal, I said, "sure". She also wanted to know if I had liked the apples she had sent. Of course I did, any fresh fruit is a novelty, plus I like apples anyway. (notes from Mom part 1) I found out that my best friend from high school was going to move to Colorado the next day, get an apartment on Tuesday, and a job - "whenever". I requested fruit rollups, Pop-Tarts, Summer Sausage, crackers, squeeze cheese and Lipton's noodles and sauce. Just as I would want to reduce weight for the trail, I instructed Mom to take the tarts out of the box, and not to send the packaging. Don't send salami, only real summer sausage! I also requested two of each flavor of the Lipton's dinners since Jim and I combined our cooking and therefore needed two for each meal. Mixing flavors was not an option. (notes from mom part 2)

Back in the hospice, I fried up some steak-ums that were left by a hiker named George Steffanos, who had left earlier in the morning, and made myself a sandwich. I had never heard of steak-ums, but whatever they really were, I enjoyed them immensely. Had I not heard him say he was leaving them for anyone who wanted them, I would not have eaten them. Sometimes unidentified food can sit in the fridge for too long before someone decides to toss it.

Suddenly Danny, a postal employee, showed up with a mailbag full of mail. Somehow, someone had talked the post office employee to bring the mail to the hospice this afternoon! He apparently had enough authority to go into the post office and bring up the mail to the hikers. There were a lot of hikers here, and perhaps that had something to do with it. I thought, "great, now we can move on today, or at least get an early start tomorrow." How wrong I was. Everyone got their mail except Jim. His mail had been sent insured and therefore was locked up at the post office waiting for him to sign for it. We were stuck here for the duration. How does the post office know the mail is for the hikers? Most hikers have mail sent in their name, in care of the postmaster. The outside is usually marked "Hold for A.T. Hiker." That seems to tip them off. I received a couple of letters and a package from Mom. After evaluating the goodies in the package, figuring out how many breakfasts, lunches, and suppers I would need for the next couple of days, I made a trip down to the Kroger store and bought $14.00 worth of groceries. The remainder of the afternoon was taken up by talking and playing games with the other hikers. I met a lot of new people today including Pearl and Al, Jan and Inez, George Steffanos, Peter from Quebec, and another friend of his whom I can't remember his name, Tim Sheehy and Maynard Haslett, Gary, and Tom. Another couple named Dave and Beth that we had met in Hot Springs somehow got here before we did. Upon inquiring, they admitted that they had taken a lot of short cuts. After eating lunch, Peter and his hiking partner left to hitch up to Vermont. I guess they thought the the northern climate would be better than the rainy weather we had been experiencing down here in lower Virginia.

Later in the afternoon I made up a rice-a-roni stroganoff with fresh hamburger mixed in that I had purchased from Kroger. I did not want to eat it all. I actually gave some of it away! I wanted to leave room for cereal a little later. Luckily, there is always someone ready to eat any leftovers.

Around 7:30 pm some of the guys decided to go on an expecition to Kroger's. I went along, but made a quick stop at the little store closer to the hospice first to check for A & W Rootbeer, which I knew Kroger did not have. The little store had it, so I bought some, and then purchased some vanilla ice cream at Kroger's. I loaded up my cook pot with ice cream and poured on the rootbeer. Figuring that would be enough for me I then offered the rest of the ice cream to anyone, and there was no trouble getting rid of the remainder. A little later I ate about a half a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, talked until about ten p.m. and then headed off to bed with a full stomach.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

Next From the Beginning