Appalachian Trail Journal of Rick Holt

Part 2 - July 1973


July 1, 1973 Sunday

The weather improved again over night. Had a great breakfast and got a bunch of candy bars instead of a trail lunch. Got as far as Liberty Spring campground. Am now in my tube tent. I should sleep dry here tonight. A 10 mile day today. Looks like we might get a thundrshower. The summits were in the clouds today, but it was dry. We have now left the Presidential range. This last week has been the roughest and most spectacular of the trip. Am still hiking with Jim Smith. Should make Glencliff by Wednesday. Am a little behind schedule, but I'm really enjoying the hike. Can hardly wait for the new boots. Will be a real pleasure to get rid of these junky boots.

July 2, 1973 Monday

10 miles to Eliza Brook leanto. Boot is really getting bad. Will probably have two short days so that I don't get to Glencliff on the Fourth of July. Took a dip in Eliza Brook when I got here. Really felt good. Weather was partly cloudy, humid and hot

July 3, 1973 Tuesday

Hiked to Beaver Brook leanto. A fairly difficult trip over the Kinsman mountains. Left my stuff with Jim Smith at the leanto and hitchhiked into N. Woodstock. Bought supplies for Jim, me and another guy I met at the leanto. Bought two new stuff bags which I needed badly.

July 4, 1973 Wednesday

Short hike to Great Bear Cabin. This is a locked cabin but we had heard that it was unlocked. It thundershowered on the way down from Mt. Moosilauki. This is a really cozy place. Stayed with a guy who had hiked up from Pa. He had already done the Southern half. Also met a guy on the mountain who had come up form Georgia and was on a sort of walk-a-thon for the Red Cross.

July 5, 1973 Thursday

Finally made it to Glencliff. Had a great sleep at the cabin last night. First thing I did was peel off the old boots and put on the new ones. They feel great. I hope they hold up. I mailed home the old boots and Maine guidebook and some clothes. Enjoyed the potato chips and extra treats in the supply package. Will try to get some good pictures with the camera. Hiked out to Wauchipaucka leanto. There is a great view of Mt. Moosilauke from the outhouse.

July 6, 1973 Friday

18.3 miles today. Am at Smarts Mt. leanto. May try to get to Hanover tomorrow.

July 7, 1973 Saturday

Today was all fouled up. Started out planning to go to Hanover. Got as far as Holts ledge and got lost. Followed ski trail down to road. It was too late to continue hiking so we hitchhiked into Hanover. I left my walking stick in the truck that picked us up. Sure will miss it. Will continue south from here. No sense in going back and trying to find the lost 13 miles. Washed all my clothes and took a hot shower. We are staying at a fraternity house at Dartmouth College called Tabard House. Got some shoe polish for my boots. They are holding up well. Couldn't get my mail. The P.O. was closed.

July 8, 1973 Sunday

Hiked from Hanover to a new shelter called Cloudland. Nice place. 3 people already here. Stopped at general store in West Hartford and had a quart of sherbet, three cokes and a bag of potato chips. Very hot today. The thermometer at the store read 101 though I didn't trust its accuracy.

July 9, 1973 Monday

Hiked to Stony Brook shelter. It was very hot with much walking through open farm fields in the baking sun. Heard some very sad and shocking news today. For the last couple day we have been hearing about a hiker who drowned during the big rains. Well, we found out today that the hiker was Bob Brugman. I had hiked with him for about a week in Southern Maine. When we got to New Hampshire he began walking faster and I never saw him again. Heard he tried to cross Mill Brook when it was about 25 ft. above normal on a partly washed out bridge. I understand they only found his pack. Never found his body. It was a real shock to hear it.

July 10, 1973 Tuesday

Short hike of 10 miles today. Went in to Sherbourne. Stopped at gas station and had some chips and coke. Stopped at Old Stage Stop and had a hamburger and fries. Got as far as Pico Camp.

July 11, 1973 Wednesday

16 miles today to Sunnyside shelter. Passed the gorge where Bob Brugman drowned. Hard to believe how deep it must have been. The bridge was about 25 ft. up and it got washed out.

July 12, 1973 Thursday

19.5 miles today to Peru Peak leanto. Cost 75 cents to stay here. A guy at Lost Pond leanto gave us a hot dog this afternoon. Passed the 500 mile mark today. May have to call for more money.

July 13, 1973 Friday

16 miles to Swezy leanto. Killed a porcupine that kept climbing into the shelter last night. Couldn't make him go away. Got a coke at Bromely Mt. ski lift. Didn't sleep too well last night because of the porkies. And got a late start.

July 14, 1973 Saturday

Sept well last night. Got a 7:30 start this morning. Did only 12 miles today even though we had planned for 20 miles. We were just sore and stiff and decided it wasn't worth pushing ourselves. Got here to Story Brook leanto about 2 PM and had some tomato rice soup which I bought from a Guy this morning and then went to sleep for about 3 hours. Got up and made some clam chowder which I bought from another guy this morning. for the last couple of days I have been asking people for food to spice up my monotonous and insufficient diet. We(Jim and I) should leave Vermont the day after tomorrow. Should pull into Cheshire with about 5 days food left over. Must remember to ask for money to Kent, Conn. We have had some great cool weather for the last couple days. Got some rain last night and thought it would bring in, but it is still like a cool fall evening now.

July 15, 1973 Sunday

Came as far as Glasstonbury leanto. It rained all morning and was so cold and wet when we got here we decided to stay. Only logged 7 miles for the day. I have decide today that I will leave for home tomorrow on Route 9 before leaving Vermont. My pack is in bad shape, jabbing me in the back, and I know I could never stand it with the big load at Cheshire. I will write to the postmaster at Cheshire and have him mail back the package. Also the soles of my boots have begun to separate at the toe. It wouldn't be long before they were flapping. Do not regret ending here after 548 miles and 45 days on the trail. Only regret having the long hitchhike home. Am looking forward to some good home cooking again.

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