From Springer Mountain Georgia to Mt. Katahdin Maine

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bebop hits triple digits

Daystar and Bebop
Cole has her trail name, and she has hiked one hundred miles so far.  The girls checked in last night via text message fromWaynesboro, VA.  A couple of nights ago they were at the Devil's Backbone Brewery  in Roseland, VA for a meal, libation, and ended up spending the night out back.  Just saying that I am not suprised to learn this micro-brewery is based in Lexington, VA.  I might have mentioned that Washington & Lee University is located in Lexington, VA and that there wasn't a micro-brewery back in the mid seventies, just Duck's.  Anyway the group called a number another hiker had given them and the folks at Devil's Backbone met them at a crossing and carried them to the "Base Camp" brewery in Roseland.  Macon said she had a half pound burger topped with pulled pork, onion rings on a jalapeno bun.

Because Cole just be-bops down the trail she was bestowed the trail name of Bebop.  They have picked up the pace since Trail Days and are closing in on the one thousand mile mark.
Daystar and Bebop

The group spent last night in the hostel run by Grace Evangelical Church.  They arrived on Wednesday which meant they enjoyed the Wednesday night supper for hikers.  Then, they split up; Lighthouse (who has joined the group) manned the laundry and the girls headed to Target.  Daystar plans to call home today so we may post more news later. 
Pants, Daystar, and Gribley

Photos courtesy of Tatertot.

Monday, May 28, 2012

More Pics from Gribley - Part II, Apr 24-May10

400 miles hiked on the AT

Daystar - 2nd from left

Gribley and Pants on Fire
Camp grub

Breakfast prep

Ponies on the trail

A long way from salons in NYC !!

Daystar and Gribley sat in on a lesson in a one room school house.

The word of the week - "community"

Daystar, Pants, TaterTot

Up and over barbed wire

Gribley chillin' on the tree

Daystar and Pants

600 miles hiked on the AT
Life is good.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pictures from Gribley - a flashback from the beginning

During the next few days, we'll post pictures from Gribley that were uploaded to Daystar's laptop.  Here are the first twenty-one, beginnig with the sign at Springer Mountain.

Discarded hiking boots

Daystar with her mom in Gatlinburg

Journal entry, April 19

Heading into the snowstorm

Shelter from the storm

The snowstorm along the AT

Daystar relaxing by a waterfall

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Damascus Part II

The Parade – around 1:30 Sat afternoon, hikers lined up by class (your year on the trail) outside the Sundog Outfitter. 
Police lead the parade

Bagpiper and Trail Club

Miss Trail Days
The fire and police departments took the lead, followed by a convertible with Miss Trail Days, a bagpiper, assorted vintage vehicles, and then the thru-hikers, including lots of trail dogs (who, BTW, hike, too, and carry food in doggy back packs).  Cole (a “section hiker”) and I parked near where a pick-up had backed up to the corner.  The entire bed was filled with water balloons, super soakers, and buckets of water.  As the hikers passed, warfare began.  Some, like Daystars’ group, were prepared with their own arsenal of water guns.  A few hikers wore raincoats and one donned water goggles.  
Not a great pic, but you can see the dogs alongside the hikers

The Hiker Talent Show followed the parade at 4pm.  First, up Monkey Impressions (the talent, not the trail name).  Though WaterBoy had signed up, he didn’t show up, so emcee “Digger” Downs asked if anyone would step in for WaterBoy.  A thru-hiker jumped up from the crowd and performed impressive monkey impressions.  Next, Chatty Cathy and Company with “The Hiker Song” whose chorus was: “Hey, Hey were the Hikers…”  Strider performed an acoustic guitar rendition of “No Scrubs” (TLC circa ’98), Beowulf presented his fire-eating/blowing skills, Braid sang about “Pink Blazing” (when a guy follows a girl on the AT/ or general romance); the refrain had everyone in the crowd hooting along (like owls).  Tree Piper played his flute, and T-Bone played “The Pink Panther” on his. There were lots of fiddles, guitars, banjos, and even an accordion.  Old Man from Maine gave a pitch for his inn and shuttle service at the trail’s end.  Before the winners were announced, we bolted over to the pizza joint which was filling up fast.  More stories and pizza.  Then, back to the campsite for an early bedtime.

Cole, Pants, Gribley, TaterTot, and Daystar on the lawn at the Homeplace
Pants packed in 5 packs plus assorted supplies from home.  Great job!
Sunday morning, Pants loaded the Magic School Bus, and we headed north on 81 to Wal-Mart for resupply then to The Homeplace for an all-you-can-eat family-style lunch.  The wait was well over an hour, which gave the hikers time to repack with their new supplies.  The hikers planned to eat leisurely then hike to where they’d left the trail in Catawba (1.3 miles).  Once the Magic School Bus was unloaded, I skipped out on lunch and began the 6 hour trek back to Chattanooga.
The Homeplace (featured in the current issue of Garden & Gun mag)
Some closing comments… the joy and enthusiasm among the hikers are infectious.  Esprit de la vie.  Though they spend endless days on the trail, once inside the Magic School Bus, technology prevailed.  Cole’s ipod, Daystar’s laptop that I’d brought from home, five cell phones – all connecting and swapping SD pic cards and downloading music and pictures.  Wires and cords everywhere.  They sang along with Dolly, Beyonce, Paul Simon, John Denver… and even the Disney Princess collection (the cd was in Cole’s car).  I felt like I was back at camp hauling around kids in the ole camp van.  This Fab Five (including Cole, Daystar’s younger sister) are all about living life.  Carpe diem!