Friday, April 6, 2012

People, Trail Magic, & Monthly Picture.

<p>I have met many people along my journey during this first month, and surprisingly to me I have remembered almost all of them. I feel like being out here has improved my memory, or maybe it's that everyone out here has a name that describes them. <br>
Charley was the first person I met, also known as good deeds, but I'm not sure why. He is a nice person I suppose, captain chaos is his name in town, which makes more since because he wanted to jump off a bridge into very shallow water, but didn't, he did break my knife though. Cameron was another guy I met early on but only for a day, until I ran into him outside Hot Springs, NC. His trail name is Lightning Jack, and he deserves it! He is one of very few people out here that is faster than me on the trail. He is 19 taking time off from school and seems to be a go getter type of guy. I'm sure everyone remembers Machete Mike, who's name is actually Mitch, I got it wrong the first time. I haven't seen him in weeks and wonder if he is still on the trail. People still talk about him though. Ken didn't have a trail name but he was about 60, an ex NY firefighter, and a very cool guy. He was only on the trail a few days before he had to go back to his wife. Animal was a chess master and an older guy as well that I spent an afternoon with, he carried a 5 gallon bucket in his hand while he hiked, not too sure why but it was handy in camp. Mellow Yellow is one of the cooler people I've met out here, she has a bright yellow jacket which is how she got her name. She is a little older than me, and from Chicago, she has a class of elementary school kids as pen pals in NY which is pretty cool. I haven't seen her in a few weeks and miss her company. J.W. is a very determined person, he loves Mountain Dew and Honey Buns, you can tell when he has been to a town because there will be no more Honey Buns! He is in a similar boat as me monetarily ( poor ) but his sister raised $1000 for him so he can finish the trail. I haven't seen him in a few days either. Kat was kinda a quiet girl who hiked with our group for a while, unfortunately she quit the trail. Bean and Brian are great people! They are a young couple around my age, any couple that can make it out here will do well. They went to Asheville for a day and I haven't seen them since, I have a feeling they will catch up eventually, I hope so anyway. Tuchi and J. Bone are a married couple, he is from Canada eh and she is Brazilian. He is a pro sky diver/base jumper/pilot, and has been on many expeditions, I'm trying to pick his brain to learn to how to become a sponsored "fun haver" myself. Bee Man is an amazing 60 something year old man from middle Tennessee that reminds me a little of my Pawpaw. He has been doing around 15 miles a day and I sincerely hope he makes it to Maine, I would love to buy him a beer there. Far East Coast is from Singapore, he has an awesome kavu asian triangle hat, the kind you see in movies while they are picking rice, but his is synthetic and waterproof. He moves slowly but steadily. Achilles joined me on marathon day, and it was great to have company. He decided to change his name to Hammerhead after that day since apparently there is another Achilles on the trail. He is a little older than me and from upstate NY. Tarzan and Fancy Pants seem to stay on about the same time line as me, I will occasionally see them in town or a shelter but they manage to always be one step ahead. It is nice to see notes from Tarzan saying if a view or trail magic is worth leaving the trail for a half mile or so.</p>
Trail magic is anything anyone does or leaves on the trail to help you along the way. Most of the time it is provided by people who have thru hiked before and understand how much even a bottle of water can help.I got my first bit of trail magic at the 100 mile mark, someone had hung a box with a note that said, cookies for thru or section hikers, also feel free to leave your trash and I'll pac it out for you. The cookies were great! At max patch in NC I was walking through the fog and wind on top of a bald when I saw a big wolf- looking dog ( Alaskan Mallamute sp?) come walking through the mist. It was followed by a cute girl named wiggles who asked if I liked strawberries. I said I did and she sat down and pulled out a box of huge strawberries, bag of snickers, and Oreo cookies, and told me to help myself. Which I did while she dug her elbow into my back which felt AMAZING!&#160; At Allen Gap I saw a sign that said trail magic 350 yards up the road, then take the driveway on the right, and a handwritten note underneath that said seriously worth it. Tarzan. So I went and it was SERIOUSLY WORTH IT! When I walked up to the house Hercules was mowing the yard and when he saw me he stopped, walked over and said I hope your hungry. I walked inside and met his wife Fal, who he thru hiked with in '99. They asked me what I would like to drink and handed me a piece of paper with drinks listed on one side and the weeks weather on the other. They started me off with a pitcher of Gatorade and a Belgian waffle, I loaded it up with butter and snarfed it down, then they gave me a giant bowl of pork and vegetable stew, and another pitcher of Gatorade. When I finished that they gave me a choice of a banana split, blackberry cobbler, or some sort of brownie. I chose the cobbler with ice cream and it was great. Looking back I wish I'd had another waffle with the cobbler and ice cream on top. I walked the next 5 miles with a FULL stomach and a smile. At Spivey Gap J.W.s sister's friends Bryce and Heather drove from Huntsville with their kids and a car load of food and a grill, and made half pound hamburgers, with pasta salad, and home made cookies. I ate 4 hamburgers and don't know how many handfuls of cookies, and they still had tons of food when I left. Coming out of NC into TN we met a lady on the trail with a giant tupperware full of sandwiches she had left over from a church group, we got to enjoy. So whether it is a full course meal or water next to the trail, anything can be trail magic and it is all greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Much more exciting and enlightening than going to work. Keep me posted on that Sponsored "Fun Haver" program....Oh, I might be one of those guys