That’s the message I sent to some friends upon my family’s arrival to the Volunteer State. I already have an affinity for the mountains that was birthed in me when I grew up in Oregon, and as November began, with the leaves turned a beautiful golden yellow color, the air carried a crisp - almost cedar tasting - feel to it – and I was loving life. Add to that, the fact that it was my 31st birthday and we were in town for a wedding – and it’s clear to me that the galaxy had offered me a most radical weekend adventure.
Explaining the functionality of my internal framed Gregory Z-Series (Jade Series for the ladies) backpack is like trying to explain the resourcefulness of a pocketknife on the trail - it's essential. The versatility is broad, no matter where you find your destination.
I began this journey wanting to take a walk on the Appalachian Trail. In fact, this was not the initial trail I wanted to walk. I had several other long distance trails in mind. One by one, family matters and logistics, made those trails impossible to walk. Then, the AT came into my head. I often wondered if I had the chance to hike the AT again how would I do it.
Our own Krispy Kritter is getting close to completing his AT journey, only 477.9 miles to go!
It was Krispy Kritter's birthday today, happy birthday man!
"Fall seven times, stand up eight." ~Japanese proverb
"You can only do what you can do." ~ King Lui, Glastonbury Castle
"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."
~Rainer Maria Rilke
May 14, 2010 - Day 39 - FridayDestination: Damascus, VA - Trail Days Starting Location: Atkins, VA Today's Miles: 0.00 Trip Miles: 539.10
The first thing I did when I got into Damascus was walk up to tent city where the majority of the hikers were staying. Tent City was laid out differently this year because part of the land was under construction for new baseball/soccer fields. Volunteers for the last three days had been cutting and constructing trails and campsites in the posion ivy infested woods running along a stream. The trails ran a 1/2 of a mile in one direction and a 1/4 of a mile in the other. Premium tent sites were being taken quickly. Several communities were springing up with names like Billville, Miss Janets, Riff Raff, Alcatraz, Trail Talk, Dog Bone Fire to name a few. I decided to head over to the Gear repair site to meet old friends. Granite Gear, big Agnes, Osprey, Mountain Hardwear and others were present repairing for free broken or torn gear brought over by thru hikers. Due to the new configuration, the crowds did not enter through this section to get to tent city this year so the numbers of visitors were down this year. Met up with my friend, Fix It Man and he set me up for the weekend. I decided I wasn't going to do anything but relax, eat and have a few beers.
May 4, 2010 – Day 29 - TuesdayDestination: Mountaineer Shelter Starting Location: Overmountain Shelter Today's Miles: 18.00 Trip Miles: 397.50
"Forget about time...concentrate on timing." ~Jonathan Passel