I have determined the date that I will be arriving at Springer Mountain!
For anyone who would like to attend, please meet at the Amicalola Falls State Park Visitor Center on Sunday November 20, 2011 at or BEFORE 3:00pm! I technically could push really hard and finish a few days before this date, but I have decided to take it easy in my final 3 weeks and accommodate those who are working and schooling.
I should be able to post one more time before this date, but please direct any questions to Terry Seehorn at 706.490.3758 or 706.490.3757 because I have very poor service.
If you felt inclined to bring a gift or wanted to do something nice for my deprived hiker self, here are a couple ideas (primarily so that everyone wont try to feed me and I gain 30lbs within the first month of returning...)
- Donate to my gym membership
- Help me buy some new tennis shoes (these will be worthless by the time I finish)
- If anyone has or knows anyone that has temporary work, hook me up!
- Take me to a movie, bowling, a concert, or anything that doesn't involve me walking 20 miles with a backpack.
- Non-perishable food items (only delicious ones) are welcome too... :-)
- Pay off both of my credit cards... hahahahahahahaha
- Give me a high five and a hug (and don't tell me I stink, because I know already)
So that's your heads up!
Here's what's been going on over the past several days. (Unfortunately, I can't upload photos from this library, so you must bear with my writing skills and your imagination)
After hanging out with my family, I did a short day to Kincora Hostel and saw Bob Peoples and met my other hiker friends. (they were a day ahead of me, having slack packed back into the hostel for the night).
After Kincora, I hiked 25 to the Apple House Shelter and met a man named "Trail Hopper." He is a 63 year old man from Boone North Carolina. It is possible that he lives in the shelters for more of the year than he lives in town...
We had a few interesting conversations, but here are a few of the things that he said to me... (transcribed as phonetically as possible). He asked me, "Ye gotchy a peeler?" "huh?" I respond. Then confused at why he was asking me this strange question, I deduce that he is asking me if I have a pillow. "Oh, yeah, I have one." Random?
When I first arrived he said "Yone far?" My first response was to say "Yes, I walked 25 miles today, I'm hiking the whole trail." But that was not the right response. He was asking me "Do you want a fire?" Simple phrase, but confusing when you first walk in.
This last one was a doozey. When describing the Roan High Knob Shelter and fidgeting with his stove while I was standing nearby. This is what I heard. (speak in a deep accent for effect) "Arzy a weiner a bar ching open..." Honestly, he lost me at weiner. I stood there staring, frantically trying to figure out what he was trying to tell me. I wasn't able to figure it out immediately so I gave one of those "oh yeah, uh huh." responses. With the pressure off, my mind cleared and I realized that this was what he was trying to tell me. "There's you a window up there that you can open..." WHOA. That's a thick accent. I repeated this phrase to myself almost hourly for the rest of that day. Fun times!
That afternoon I was thinking about how hungry I was and how my food was insufficient to carry me all the way to Thursday of that week. So when I got to the top of Hump Mountain, what did I find? Practically nothing. It is a bald. There is grass. But there was a small fire pit. Next to a rock in that pit was a half empty jar of peanut butter! Whoa! I opened it up and found out that there were pieces of chocolate and raisins in there too!...Sooooo, I ate it. I mean, come on. How coincidental is it that I find a jar of peanut butter at the top of a mountain when all I have been thinking about was food! I HAD to eat it.
Weeeeelllll, lets just say that my brain was happy but my insides protested by liquifying and making me stop 4 times in the course of the next day! Hah FAIL. Moral of the story. Don't eat peanut butter from the trail!
A few days later I was fortunate to have my friend Brittani Stanga come visit me and pick me up after a 28 mile day! She graciously slack-packed me for 4 days and hung out with me and several other hiker friends! She was definitely a trail angel for driving us around and getting us to and from the trail heads. It is completely possible to fit 7 hikers into a Mustang in case you were wondering.
We all stayed at a wonderful place (right off the trail) called the Hemlock Hollow Farm in TN. I have hiked through snow at least 3 days in the past week and a half, so that tells you how cold it has been recently. Thankfully it hasn't been an overwhelming amount of snow, but none-the-less, snow is hard to walk in either way.
As far as wildlife goes, I have seen a Virginia Opossum, but that is the only new creature to make it onto my species list. I thought I had seen a Great Horned Owl only to find out that it was one of those bobble-head scarecrow owls and it was placed in a tree near a bird research operation at the top of Bald Mountain. Dang! It was foggy and completely perfect, but as I looked longer I could see the head going like one of those toys you put on the dash of your car.
I managed to slack pack 16.7 miles in 4 hours and 6 minutes yesterday. I was moving! That's averaging more than a 4mph pace for 4 straight hours! I don't do that often.
Today I am leaving out of Hot Springs. It is beautiful weather and I am really thankful! Sorry that I don't have any photos in this blog, but hopefully your imagination and my stories sufficed for now!
Spread the word to anyone who you think might like to come on the 20th! All are welcome.
**For those who have emailed me, please bear with me! I appreaciate your emails and I am not intentionally delaying a response, but I have had nearly no service over the last couple weeks.
Back to the trail!
Amplexus "Lexus" SOBO 2011
Posted 1st November 2011 by Josh Seehorn