Yes, that is right...three more days! Things have been a whirlwind around the Redden home. Between finishing my last few days at work for a while and getting everything packed and ready for Amee when I leave, I cannot believe it is soooo close!
Well I thought I would post one last story by George Steffanos. His stories on his '83 thru-hike are amazing. He is a very talented writer. Anyway, this story is in the style of General George Patton. Enjoy....
When I stopped at Punchbowl Shelter for lunch, four backpackers were already settled in for the night. I walked over to the first one and asked, "How far did you come today, son?"
"Forty-five miles, sir!" he replied in a strong, clear voice.
I told him to keep up the good work and moved over to the second hiker. I asked him the same question, and he shot back, "Thirty miles, sir, but both of my ankles are sprained!"
I told him I was proud to be hiking with men like him, and vigorously shook his hand.
The third hiker's reply was a sickly, but firm, "Twenty miles on a broken leg, sir."
I was overcome. I knelt down, said a little prayer for the lad, and kissed his forehead.
Then, I walked over to the fourth hiker.
"I've been here at this shelter for six days," he sobbed. "I just can't seem to shake off this depression. Virginia is too much for me. It's all the same. I can't stand it! Everything is all the same! I can't take it any more!"
I grabbed the yellow coward by his collar and yanked him to his feet. "You no-good, lousy, stinking coward!" I screamed. "You don't belong here in this shelter with these fine men! Get out! Get back out on that trail, and I hope you fall off a cliff! You make me PUKE!!"
He ran out blubbering into the forest, quivering like a leaf. I know that Ike is going to give me heck for this, but, then, the AT is heck. I love it, though.
--General George Steffanos