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May 18, 1983 Wednesday (2109 miles to go) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

A big mile day today.

A couple of miles after leaving the summit of Blood Mountain this morning we arrived at Neel's Gap, where US route 19/129 passes through the low area between Blood and Levelland Mountains. Located at this road crossing is the first potential trail resupply point directly on the trail. The trail actually passes through an archway on the grounds of the Walasii Inn, a building built during the depression era by the CCC. Although I don't have it recorded, we probably stopped and had a coke and some other treats before beginning the ascent of Levelland Mountain. I do remember purchasing two or three freeze dried dinners as emergency backup food - just in case we ran out of other food. This stuff is easy to fix and the recipe requires to just add boiling water.

After ascending out of Neel's Gap and choosing to not stop for water at one of the shelters since it was one half mile off the trail, we were in need of water by the time we arrived at Tesnatee Gap, after traveling 5.7 miles. I have a vague recollection of sending Jim down to get water (it was his turn) when we arrived at the highway running through the gap. There was a sign there that said spring ¼ mile down the mountainside. Sometimes a short distance can become a much longer distance, especially when it is not being subtracted from your mileage to reach your final goal. This was one of those cases. I waited and waited and Jim finally came back and was exhausted and drenched in sweat. Apparently the water was "straight down" the mountain which meant straight back up to get back. A tough and frustrating additional few tenths of a mile for him. Put in 19.8 miles today before pulling into Rocky Knob lean-to.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983
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