Blimey’s run down of exciting, crazy, scary shit that’s happened on the trail so far post
Taking a zero so thought I’d take some time to post a few of the highlights, downers, crazy shit and other goings on that have happened so far on the trail. It’s in no particular order of most exciting just as I think of them il write it down. Here goes……..
Fell off the Appalachian Trail
So we’re walking along a really great part of trail by a river with loads of great little pools and waterfalls, it’s a hot day, I can’t walk past these waterfalls anymore so say screw it guys were on the AT let’s go jump in a waterfall. The trail is on the edge of a steep steep slope down to the waterfall, I start to head down, turn to wave at a few guys we know passing, loose my footing and fall ass over tit about 15ft down the cliff edge. I was told I did a cartwheel halfway down! Luckily though just before hitting the water with my pack on I get wedged between two rocks by my bag!! FEW!! I laugh immediately out of sheer joy that all my crap didn’t get wet and yell up to the guys ‘I’m wedged hahahaha’ I’m covered in mud head to toe but again luckily unscathed! Just a hefty bruise and lump on my calf which I still have 3weeks later! A hiking buddy pulls me up as everytime I try to move I slip further down to the water but I’m good just covered in mud so jump in the waterfall anyway minus pack obviously. So it immediately turned from nearly breaking myself and ending my thruhike to a fantastic waterfall refresher on a hot day! One other thing though, realised half hour later I no longer have my glasses on DOH!!! The trail giveth and it taketh away.
The not so all you can eat fiasco
Never listen to southbound section hikers! I’m just saying! (Only joking they were lovely people)
We’re at Overmountain shelter which as shelters go is a fuckin palace! It’s an old barn converted for us hiker trash but its got four walls which is pretty unique and a luxury especially as it was blowing a gale and pouring outside. We’re all hunkered down for the night about 30 of us in a shelter that says holds 20 and we get to talking and as usual the talk turns to ‘hiker porn’! Now for you dirty minded folk out there this is just food talk, we always end up fantasising about what to eat in town or what we miss eating at home or anything whatsoever related to food we talk about it! Well this father and son duo doing sections south start talking about a steak house just .5 off the trail at the next road which is about 9 miles hike in the morning! Even more tempting is they have a buffet running from 11-2pm, so it’s a done deal we are up in the morning to hike up and down a mountain to make it for buffet! At that point it was the quickest, almost ten miles I have hiked since starting I pretty much ran it and it was still pouring with rain. Long story cut bit shorter, were wet through a little sore after running 10 miles with 30lb plus packs starving and almost rabid for this buffet, and we’ve hiked off trail for it remember which isn’t done very lightly depending on your hike, but there is a sign at the road saying Hikers Welcome to seal the deal that this place exists! Well we turn up to this place to find a fucking CLOSED sign!!!!!!!!!! This place has been closed for a frikin year!!!!!! WHYYYY A.T Gods WHYYYY utter down right depression is on all of our faces this is not cool.
But then a complete fantasticle amazing change of fate arises! Peaches has been picked up on the .5 to the restaurant and this guy pulls up window down asks if all is well! I just look blankly at him dripping wet utterly depressed and hungry with a mock cry in my voice ‘it’s closed……….’
‘No problem’ the guy says I can pick you guys up two at a time drop you in Roan Mountain fantastic food at a diner. We couldn’t believe it this guy was amazing such a great guy! We ruined his car with wet and mud and hiker funk and he didn’t give a shit just wanted to do some trail magic and it was greatly GREATLY appreciated! Thank you so so much!!
April 4th the day of the ice storm
We hear there’s bad weather coming and possibly wintery weather at higher elevations this day but decide to push on up Standing Indian mountain and see how it goes! WRONG!! Should of stayed at camp at lower elevation. We get 5 miles into the day and its getting crazy, the rain is pouring and just freezing on everything including us, we resemble people shaped icicles the trail is covered in ice and very slippy underfoot and then crap starts falling all around! The trees are falling apart from the weight of the ice. Sometimes just a small chunk of ice or twig then branches and occasionally whole limbs of massive trees just falling all around! Never ever experienced anything like this so it was really exciting for me but getting pretty dangerous so we decided it was a good idea to head off and hunker down in the Shelter on standing Indian. We squished in like sardines in our sleeping bags and sat it out all day ice and limbs crashing down on the roof all day and night!
Little Bald big winds
Walking over Little Bald and big hump we experienced the strongest winds I’ve ever encountered hiking! I thought the weather was bad going up, hardly see your hands infront of you kind of weather! Then we topped the bald and all hell breaks loose, horizontal freezing rain, rain bouncing off ground and heading back up winds of at least 70mph that you can lean up against. My poles became useless as every time I lifted them they got blown to the side and flapped like they were paper! It was crazy but a fantastic experience and something il never forget, couldn’t feel my legs or hands for an hour after we got down.
So there are a few short stories from trail so far i’ll leave you with some bullet points to finish
• Amazing breakfast feast at Mountain Harber by a fantastic lady who got up at 4am to prepare it for about 30 of us all by herself, it was a 6ft table packed with food, juices, coffee with any syrup you wanted and French vanilla cream.
•Duffel bag man that’s following our hiker bubble, also known as bucket man as he carries a grey bucket holding various random things, once had ice and yogurt in, once used to bleach his clothes. Sleeps on the actual trail and shouts at people as they pass in morning. Speaks various different languages randomly. Was question by police in town as he freaks everyone out on trail.
•Did a 27 miles hike into Damascus DAMASCATHON just cuz!!!
•Took down about 3lbs of Skillet in Hot Springs with a biscuit and side of taiter tots YEAH!!
•Ate 3000cals at McDonalds got the McSweats up Pond Mountain then the next day had a major McComedown, sooooo depressed nearly quit and I have no idea why or where it came from!