20, 1983 - Friday From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail
at six o'clock this morning. The morning was damp from the rain.
Some truckers rolled in just as we were getting up and about. I
guess that after a long serious climb in a big rig, the lot is a
great place to give the engine a rest and see what excitement they
can find before they begin the break-burning descent into the valley
below. A gap, such as Dick's Creek Gap, is a southern term used
to indicate a low spot between two mountains. Out west it may be
known as a pass. They asked us if we were from Michigan since there
was a car in the lot that had michigan plates. Well I guess if we
were from Michigan we probably would have spent the night in our
car, or driven down to the closest town to escape the nasty dampness
that filled the air last night. But we were just two guys, the Biumvirate
Pedestrian League, on a leisurely stroll from Georgia to Maine via
the Appalachian Trail.
lunch we traveled on toward Standing Indian Lean-to. Along the way
we passed by an interesting shelter different from any other shelter
on the trial so far. It was an "A" frame shelter situated
in a nice rhododendron thicket. We passed right on by and did not
check the place out. We arrived at Standing Indian Shelter about 5:15
pm. This area of the trail has some of the more interesting names
for side trails, nearby mountains, and gaps such as "The Chunky
Gal trail leading to Chunky Gal Mountain, Pickin's Nose (a nearby
mountain) or Low Gap and Deep Gap - of which there are several.
It took us about an hour and a half to get rolling this morning.
This I have found to be the direct result of having to tent in the
rain. It is so much easier to get up and get going when starting
from a trail shelter than from a wet tent. Not only that, but your
pack weight goes up due to having to roll up your tent with added
water weight. We set out on the trail and within a couple of hours
passed by Plumb Orchard Gap and the side trail that led down to
Plumb Orchard Shelter to our right. I remember the last time I stayed
at Plumb Orchard Gap Shelter and met a man named John Smart. He
told me that during the night he had awoke and looked out the front
of the shelter and saw a procession of glow worms working their
way from one place to another. It must have been quite a sight.
We took a break at the junction that led to the right - down to
the shelter. I ventured down to the shelter to relive the old memory
of spending the night listening to harmonica and flute music provided
by the talented Pennsylvanian.
Later, Jim and I moved on towards the first milestone on our trip
to Maine, the state line between Georgia and North Carolina. We
ate lunch at the state line in Bly Gap next to a knarly old tree
that marked the boundary and the conquest of the first state completed.
Only thirteen more states and many more miles to go! We met a fellow
hiker from Texas while we took our lunch break. Lunch was a welcome
relief, having come 8.7 miles from Dick's Creek Gap in about five
Tom, another hiker from New York, pulled in a little after we had
arrived. He figured that we must have passed him at Muskrat Creek
Shelter while he caught a few Z's. For supper this evening we had
mushroom soup and instant pistachio pudding for dessert. Tom donated
four packs of instant oatmeal to our food supply because he said he
would never eat it - it was regular flavor. The only way I could eat
it is to combine it with one of our special flavored packs, so we
accepted the extra food. Food is food out here after a while for most
hikers, and I am one of them. We spent the remainder of the evening
listening to tunes and talking with our new friend Tom.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983