With the recent car ride that shot me up into Virginia, it’s unlikely I’ll see many of my former hiking companions. I’m just going to take a moment to reflect on the primary on trail ones since I started this journey to make it across the country.
First, without a doubt, the trail volunteers and trail angels across all 14 states. On multiple occasions I have seen the hazards a large storm can do overnight to the trail, from overgrowth to washout hazards, and especially giant trees over the trail. There would be no trail without them.
Next, all the hostel owners and workers. And especially the shuttle drivers.
Including Uber drivers like Steve, who took me from the Amtrak station late at night up close to the approach trail in Georgia to start.
The Booz Brothers and the others I first played leap frogged with and enjoyed laughs at shelters my first week.
Arthur, he’s out here somewhere…
The marines. Last I heard one took injury bad enough to get off trail. If they come back, I bet they will have ditched their heavy military gear for lighter more practical stuff.
(From right to left) Yosemite Sam, Hatchet and Captain Spain. All off trail. Sam is likely getting ready for the teaching year. Spain is back to Spain, and Hatchet is off chopping wood somewhere.
Wise Fool, he too is headed back to the classroom, as an ethics professor. Good luck man!
(Far left) Trashalope, injured and off trail after a leg gash falling from a tree. The Canadians and Noise Maker, presumably on trail still, would be many miles behind me now. Unless they are back to often yellow blazing again… Little Bear is still pumping out the miles and made McAfee Knob a few days ago.
Mark, who picked me up while hobbling on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere Tennessee. Not only did he give me a very timely lift, but cooked dinner as well. Thanks again dude.
Sir Stops A Lot, as I recall he’ll be flip flopping up north to meet his son, who is also on trail. He should be gone by now. Hell, I might just get to pass him again! A flip flop is when you go from the southern point in Georgia to some point north, then get a bus to the northern point in Maine and work your way south to where you left off.
Peaceful Turtle, I swear he’s a teacher too! I know he made it back to civilization because he’s following along my continued journey still, as are others. Thanks for reaching out PT and sticking with me.
Slippy and Mouse Trap (the kids). They got off trail at Marion, VA as planned. They’re headed back to life to finish school. Good luck guys, hope you get to adventure the rest of the trail together soon. I doubt you’ll have three ministers trying to marry you in a rainy barn ever again though…
And even Forest Fire (aka Solo). He had a medical emergency in the family and ran home to Florida. He’ll likely be back. I dropped him off at a bridge on the Shenandoah River. I know, I’m behind on the blogging. You’ll see Forest in the next few updates before he heads out.
So for now, I’m running alone again. Which is fitting as I approach the halfway point and view it as a reset for a whole new adventure. The northern half of the country awaits, with new terrains to explore, rains to soak up, and friends and stories to make.
But first, I’m going to traverse about 200 miles of the beautiful Shenandoah River, on the cheap. Basically with a glorified pool raft and some dollar store supplies, but I’ve got a plan(s), of course…
Stay tuned 🙂