I’m not sure what you all (all 3 of you who read this) have in your minds about why I do this. Hike the trail. I have been really thinking hard about that. Trying to sort out the important reasons, in order to insure my commitment to finishing the AT.
The most rewarding aspect of my hiking being immersed in the AT community. It feels like a long AA meeting to me.
Mostly, everyone is kind. Helpful. The trail brings out the best in me. I think of others more up there than I do in my off trail life. Maybe, I’m getting better off trail, because of my time up there. I hope so.
So it’s the people. I love the people I meet.
That’s Bulldawg. Bulldawg, because he is from Georgia. He wore a U of Georgia hat for the entire trail on his first thru hike. This is his second.
We talked for 2 or 3 hours, non stop, at Angel’s Rest Hostel. Never laid eyes on this man before. We talked about everything, from politics to drugs and alcohol, but mostly about our love of the Trail. Trail stories are the best.
That’s Shifty. Not shifty at all by the way. Really good German guy. I met a bunch of Germans on my walk this time. Shifty invited me up to his camp for food and a campfire. Germans are like that. They feed people. Just like my German father in law. Hospitable souls.
This family asked me where I was from. I told them Easton. Ivy, the mom asked me if Lafayette College was there. Yes. She asked if the Crayola factory was there. Yes, I said. Then she asked if the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers met there. Yes. “We’re from Easton, too!!!”
Yes Ivy and her husband Poison, and their daughter, Firecracker, were from Easton, too.
Look at those two faces!!! Rascal on the left and Sailor on the right. Sailor has sailed around the world twice! Rascal is just a rascal I suppose. They were really fun. Rascal had thru hiked previously and Sailor was on her first thru hike. They went out of their way to come over and talk with me while I was setting up my campsite by Dismal Creek. We take time for each other up there. Love that. They were great.
Oh yeah. That Easton family told me they were “Lashers.” Long Ass Section Hikers. 😊 Never heard that one before! They were on a 300 mile plus section hike. I guess I’m a Sasher. Slow Ass Section Hiker.
That’s father and son, Ed and Zack. No trail names yet. I was surprised. They had come all the way from Georgia. They were plodders. Hikers that just keep moving all day. They averaged between 20 and 25 miles a day. That’s some big miles. Most hikers don’t go that far that consistently. Nice guys, too.
That’s Flash. For obvious reasons. I gave him one of my All-In chips. He said he would send me a picture of himself, holding the chip at the sign on Mt Karahdin, when he finished his thru hike. Cool. I hope he does. I’ll frame that one.
Someplace right about there, in that pine forest, I met Jacob. Jacob with the trail name he wasn’t happy with. I mentioned him before, in one of my other entries. He was my favorite new 10 minute friend this time. I really liked him.
We talked about why we were out doing this. Good, thoughtful conversation. I’d like to sit and have a coffee and see how he’s doing later on his hike. Something tells me, it’s going to have a profound effect on his life. I hope so. Maybe it already has. It certainly has done that for me.
Sorry I didn’t get his number. If any of you I mentioned up there have Jacob’s details, would you send them to me? Thanks:)
That’s it I guess. My eyes hurt. Oh. I went to an Orthopedic Surgeon yesterday. On August 6th, I’m getting a hip replacement. Oh boy. That’s all I have on that news now. Oh boy.