The Bomb Diggity Smiggity!

She’s the bomb…strong like bull…she likes hiking…she has been in a hiking club for years…ahem…sort of anyway…hiking was how i got to know we were compatible in the first place…when the suggestion was made that we live together…my immediate reaction was that we go backpacking for a long weekend…if we still felt the same after that…then we’d cohabitate…

Insert obligatory old movie quote…March or Die…1973…Starring Gene Hackman and Terrence Hill:

“Some of you men will try to quit. Others will try to run away. No man in this command has ever succeeded. If the Legion doesn’t get you, the desert will. If the desert doesn’t, the Arabs will. And if the Arabs don’t, then I will. I don’t know which is worse.”

Plus i really wanted Jodie to have some of what i had…and i thought i could show her a smidgeon of what a true Appalachian Trail “thru hike” might be like…a thumbnail…or Reader’s Digest version to all you throwbacks from the wayback…so my thoughts were for us to cover…in some capacity…the first three hundred miles…start at Amicolola and climb Springer…do northern Georgia…some of Carolina Del Norte…then tackle the Smokies…and finish at the first trail town on the AT…Hot Springs…wooohaawooohaa!

Nother movie quote here….Platoon…1986…Charlie Sheen…Tom Berenger…Willam Defoe:

Y’all take a good look at this lump of shit. Remember what it looks like. You fuck up in a firefight and I goddamn guarantee you a trip out of the bush in a body bag! Out here, assholes, you keep your shit wired tight at all times!…And the next son of a bitch I catch copping “Z”s in the bush, I’m personally gonna take an interest in seeing him suffer. I shit you not. Doc, tag him and bag him.

It’s kinda hard not to underestimate the Appalachian Trail…it’s crazy beautiful…relatively accessible…and incredibly inviting…but also really…really…hard at times…some times i think it should be called the Appalachian Creek instead of Trail…then it snows or hails…or there’s a twist…or a stumble…or blister that derails momentum…and that godam backpack!…everything in that monkey finger represents fear… fear of freezing to death… fear of starvation… exposure… dehydration… sickness… contusion… laceration… not being able to rest… boredom… surprise squirrel attack… etc… and it weighs 20-40effinglbs…

The Matrix

Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

People ask about my “best” memories and i have these pictures…sitting on top of Blood Mountain…or Rainbow Trail…MacAffee Knob….and so forth…but that’s all they are really…pictures in my mind…things i remember best are the hard times…and the folks that went through them with me…like the 12.6 miles in the howling wind and rain when it was 34 degrees…or the 18m we did over Clings to get to Gatlinburg to beat the road closure…Boulevard Trail from LeConte to Icewater Springs in the deepest snow…

If—

Rudyard Kipling, 18651936

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
   And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run—
   Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

Why are you hiking the AT???

IVVe43SlRdeSCdpoq71WFQTis a common question…most people say they hike the trail…for fun and enjoyment of life and for warm relationships with others…also…environmental awareness…physical challenge…camaraderie…exercise and solitude…in one form or another…are among typical responses among hikers…once in a while you get the obligatory “because it was there” from some pedantic old bird that lost all their creativity during the WPA era (Slosh)…er…uh…did i say that out loud?…well i cant go for that…no can do…so i got a whole routine that i use whenever anyone asks…(in fact this is what i told them at the AT Headquarters in Harper’s Ferry when they asked…it was met with a very long blank stare…lol)…so here it is…the coach came walking over to me…and i said…i know what you are going to say…i’m off the team right?…and he said…no…you never were on the team…that uniform is a bunch of rags your mom sewed together…and the helmet is a space helmet you got last halloween…you show up at practice…steal the ball and make my players chase you to get it back…and as he’s saying these terrible things i realize what he’s doing…he sees something in me…some special quality and he’s trying to draw it out…and thats when they put the handcuffs on  me…after that i decided to hike the AT!