Monday, November 09, 2009

Springer Mountain Summit! 2180 miles later...

TRIUMPH! From Left to Right: Gooch (Michal Gutschenrittter), Little Dipper (Karrie Kressler), Curse (Travis Schoen), and Bacon (Greg Hill) at the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Springer Mountain, Georgia.

Sigh.  What a great trip.  The photo above is my summit photo on Springer Mountain, in Georgia at the end of my Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike.  It took me 5 months, and 3 days to travel 2178 miles.  And I'd do it all again in a heart beat.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Our Trail Magic

We tried to give it back, but he insisted. "Do something you wouldn't be able to do without it."

We held onto the sum of money for a while trying to figure out the proper way to spend it. Eventually, we decided to leave our own trail magic for our friends. It was a good thing that we had that money too. Trail magic is expensive! We made up 3 coolers full of Reeses, pudding, and sodas galore and with the help of my aunt Vickie we left them on the trail for our friends to find. As far as we know, StarTrek, Mozzie, Despardo, Bacon, Gooch, Buffalo, Tinkerbell, and Rootbeer received our trail magic and possibly others. It felt so good.

Try the trail magic bit this coming hiking year and leave a notebook for hikers to sign. Hikers are already heading north on the AT from Springer. They majority of them will be passing through PA in May and June. And don't forget the southbounders. They'll be coming through PA anywhere from August to December.  Trail magic can come in the form of a cooler--full of Little Debbies, soda, fruit, water, beer, or anything else alongside the trail that is meant for hungry hikers.  Sometimes its a ride into town, a free stay in someone's home when the weather is just that bad, or a cookout at a lean-to. Do you want a hot dog, hamburger, or both??

Though Curse encouraged hikers to "take a bunch" on the outside, on the inside of the lid I scolded hikers for being too greedy and made reference to their ever growing T-Rex syndrome.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Storyteller Tells us How to Build a Castle

We met in Dalton, Mass at "The Bird Cage" Hostel. Storyteller was more than half way done with his thru hike, and a lot hairy than he appears in this photo (2nd from the right). I sort of helped him retrieve his lost camera--a subject I was sensitive to, having lost 2 within the past two years--and that's where our friendship began to bloom!

After the trail, Storyteller went to Helen, GA, a town not too far from the trail, and began to build a castle! Oh, I just love saying that.

I called him up when we were passing through and Storyteller and his two housemates, Andrew and Sam, became the perfect hosts to us. We didn't thoroughly explore Helen, which was described by the 2009 Thru Hikers' Companion as a "Miniature Gatlinburg," but I recommend a visit. It's a small city with a population around 400 that revived itself when it took on the appearence of a German town. Now, its a hot spot for many tourists, the estranged hiker who thought they were hiking the Appalachians and not the Alps, and some castles.

We visited Storyteller, and his housemates at their project, which is still in its beginning stages. The castle is called the "Uhuburg," and is sure to be crazy awesome when they complete it. Storyteller (Ben), Andrew and Sam, thanks for everything.
Click here for additional photos.