Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jigsaw and Jaybird.jpg

Jigsaw and Jaybird.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 56: 4/29. This is Jaybird & Jigsaw, who are section hikers headed for Harper's Ferry. Jigsaw has been at it for 12 years & Jaybird has been out for 8 years. They are a 20 year plan. Dedication! Jigsaw saw 2 black bears today & Jaybird got some pictures. Hopefully we will see some tomorrow.

Today we crossed the 900 mile mark! Unreal. I cant believe I have been hiking for 900 miles. Actually, officially we are at 904.3 miles from Springer & 1271.9 miles from Katahdin. Only 6 more days till I get to see Amee in Harpers Ferry!

Hiked with Bad Hummus, Yeti, Toddy Bear & Stovie today. Cold and windy. Glad I have my winter gear! It is going to get below freezing tonight.

Lakewood: That would be cool to meet somewhere in PA. My number is 765-589-8220. If it works out just text me and let me know what you think. If not, no big deal. I am glad to have your advice & encouragement.


Team Deuscthmark and Me.jpg

Team Deuscthmark and Me.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 55: 4/28. Officially hiked 26.2 to Pinefield Hut Shelter. I am now 883.7 miles from Springer & 1292.5 miles from Katahdin. We broke under the 1300 mile barrier.

Today the trail was very nice and graded well. The only thing was that it rained pretty much all day. Nice! We did dry out a bit at the end of our hike.

Yeti, Bad Hummus, Toddy Bear, South Side, Snickers & Energizer Turtle are here tonight. All of us NOBO's. Missing hanging with CJ though.

Missed our first wayside cause we thought they were only open on the weekends. Bummer. We still have 3 more to hit. They are restraunts just so ya know. :-)

Saw 6 more deers today which brings my total to 25.


Captain Jack.jpg

Captain Jack.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

This is the infamous Captain Jack. The finest pirate on the trail. He is from New Jersey, and is a great guy. He is a few days behind though.

He is hiking with Popeye. They did some section hikes together in the past.

He got his trail name cause he looks like Captain Jack from the movie. This picture probably doesnt do him justice.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shenandoah National Park .jpg

Shenandoah National Park .jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 54: 4/27.

AT Hiker fee: Blood, sweat & blisters.

Officially entered into the Shenandoah NP today. Yeah. I have so far mixed feelings about the park. I will give it another day before I comment more on it. I did see 4 bunnies in the park.

I did 27.8 miles today, which puts me at 857.5 miles from Springer & 1318.7 miles from Katahdin. My second longest day so far.

I caught back up to Strides, & met Team Deustchmark, who is Yeti, Bad Hummus & Toddy Bear. They have been a couple days ahead and been complaining that no one has caught up to them yet. They are pretty funny. CJ & I were going to call us Team Dollar Bill to rival them. lol.

It is suppose to get down in the 30's the next couple nights and rain is in the foecast tomorrow.


Gods trail magic.jpg

Gods trail magic.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 54. 4/27.

Found my first morel, which are the greastest things about spring. I guess they are really popping up. Havent had time to really hunt them yet. Only if i had some flour, butter & a frying pan. yum.

I am sure it brings back memories for grandma, who is the greastest mushroom cooker ever, and of course grandpa was the greast mushroom finder ever! He found some huge one's.

Anyone else out there enjoy morels?


Maupin Field Shelter gang.jpg

Maupin Field Shelter gang.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 53: 4/26.Officially did 18.2 miles over some tough terrain today in temps in the 80-90's. The trail formed a V today. Went from 4000 ft atop of the Priest down to 970 ft then back up to 3970 ft up 3 ridges mnt. Ouch. The toughest day yet.

I am 829.7 miles from Springer & 1344.3 miles from Katahdin.

At the top of 3 ridges, I met Blue & Chad. They are 2 weekenders out on the trail. Great guys. They are in the Coast Guard (not like the movie..Guardian). They still have about 10 more weeks of training, then they will be sent to there stations. Chad is wanting to hike the AT someday. Thanks again for the fellowship and GORP. Lord willing I will be done in 10 weeks. God bless & text me any time u want.

Also in the picture are Daniel, Matt & Gary, who all out for the weekend too. Great getting to know ya guys.

Getting to meet the people on the trail has definetly been the best part. God has made us relational beings. eh!


Friday, April 25, 2008

"The Hiker" - a song

"The Hiker" sung to the tune of "The Gambler - by Kenny Rogers"

On a warm summers evenin'
on a trail bound for Katahdin.
I met up with "The Hiker", we were both to tired to speak.
So, we took turns a starin' out the shelter at the darkness
till boredom over took us and he began to speak.

He said, "Son, I've made a life out of reading hiker's faces,
and knowing how much their packs weighs by the way they held their eyes.
So, if you dont mind me saying, I can see your packs too heavy,
for a taste of your water, I'll give you some advice."
So, I handed him my Nalgene, and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bumbed a ClifBar, and asked me for some GORP.
Then the night got deathly quite and his face lost all expression,
He said, "If your going to hike the AT, boy, you got to learn to go ultralight."

You got to know when to go 20's, know when to do 30's.
Know when to take a zero day, know when to leave town.
You always count your ounzes, when filling up your food sack
Cause there will be time enough for eating big, when you hitch into town.

Every hiker knows, that the secret to Katahdin.
Is knowing what to throw away, and knowing what to keep.
Cause every gears a winner, and every gears a loser.
And the best you can do is to keep your pack under 30 pounds.

So when he finished speaking, he turned back towards his food sack.
Scarfed down some beef jerky, and faded off to sleep.
Then somewhere near Katahdin, "The Hiker" he broke even,
and in his food sack, I found a Snickers that I could keep.

Repeat chorus

Hope you enjoyed. God bless. Hopefully more to come.


PS: Yes, I carry a mp3 player/fm radio that I listen to... usually half the day. It definelty helps!

The Dutch Haus

Day 52: April 25th.

Officially hiked 18.1 miles to the Fish Hatchery Rd, then walked another 2.5 miles (unofficial) to Montebello, VA.

This is where the Dutch Haus B&B is located! Lois & Earl are in their 8th year doing this. They actually offer a free lunch to all hikers whether they stay or not between 11-1 pm, but I wasnt able to get there in time. So, I will get to enjoy their dinner and breakfast! They give us cool robes to wear around the house while our laundry gets done! Very cozy! Spruce & South Side are here as well. They both slacked packed 25 miles today. I havent gotten the chance to slack pack (which means you just hike with a day pack with a few essentials) yet. I would like to hear other hiker's opinions on whether slack packing is "allowed" on a thru-hike or not. So far there have been a mixture of hikers who say they would and many who say they wouldnt. I dont think I would turn down the opportunity if it came up, but doubt it will. Currently I have carried my full pack the whole time.

I officially broke the 800 mile mark today over Cold Mountain, where I called and actually talked to my co-workers today! It was great to hear their voices and their encouragement, and of course a patient was trying to get out of bed! It never fails! lol.

I am officially at 811.5 miles form Springer & 1364.7 miles from Katahdin! Tomorrow, I have a tough downhill hike down "The Priest", which has 36 switchbacks! But, then I have a equally large climb up 3 ridges mnt. So the saying is true, "If you go down, you will soon be going up!"

Just John: Great to hear from you and welcome to the blog! Would love to meet you and especially if you have trail magic! Thru-hikers crave trail magic! lol. I always wear a blue bandana and carry a hiking stick. My picture is on the post of the "one month snapshot". Also, how is the trail in PA? I have heard that it is pretty flat and the rocks dont come into play till near the end!? I also heard Maryland isnt too bad as well.

Rich: I have a tarp (1 pound) and have used it successfully on the trail. I currently use the shelters if possible, but have come out dry using the tarp in a rain storm! Most hikers still carry tents, but tarps are becoming more popular, esp. with ultralighters. I recommend the website, Very informative, esp. their forums!

Jen: Great to hear from you. I miss seeing you guys and esp. Kayden. Tell him I said hello! I bet he wont recognize me at Matthew's graduation! lol. Congrats on your job in Lafayette, we hope to see you often!

Alyssa: Yes, I forgot about the mouse count! I have seen 8 dead mice at the shelter. 1 alive, and another one ran over my head while sleeping. The MBG's (Mouse-B-Gone's) are working well lately, since I have 2 fresh ones! I gave out the rest PS! Thanks again!

Eikenberry: Yes, I hope my beard grows quickly! Any tips on how to make it grow faster would be much appreciated. I dont think Amee will want me to keep it once I am finished with the hike! lol. Also here is the updated poptart count!

Poptarts: 102
Snickers: 44

Bill Bolander: You should try to stay here if possible! 4 stars! Great food and wonderful place to sleep! Highly recommended!!!

Pete/Wendy: Is getting married tomorrow!! Yeah! God bless you guys and have a great honeymoon! It is finally here!


James River view.jpg

James River view.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 51: 4/24. Officially hiked 18.3 miles today to Brown Mnt Creek shelter. I am 793.4 miles from Springer & 1382.8 miles from Katahdin.

Had a big climb over Punchbowl Mnt. but other wise no big excitement. Spring is springing so it is nice to smell all the wildflowers! Leaves are slowly coming out. I have a great tan now. Hot today, in the upper 70's.

Kimbra: Heard about your excitement in the ER! Hope all is going well.



Guillotine.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 50: 4/23. Officially hiked 26.6 miles today to John Hollows Shelter. I am 775.1 miles from Springer & 1401.1 miles from Katahdin.

I went up and over Apple Orchard mnt. today, which is the highest point since Chestnut Knob. Also went under the guillotine with my head still attached. It was pretty cool. Saw 2 more deer today.

Also went over the James River foot bridge, which is the longest foot bridge on the AT.

Amanda & Little Debbie are here.

Lakewood: Thanks for the encouragement. It really helps, because I know you have been through it already and survived. Virginia is such a long state mentally. Also is it true there are many places to buy sandwhiches in the Shenandoah NP? Just wondering how much food to carry through. Thanks.

Also thanks to everyone else who has left me encouraging messages & have been praying for me. I really appreciate it, and it really helps.

Note: There are 2 deer 30 ft away from me at the shelter, so deer total up to 4 today.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blue Ridge Parkway.jpg

Blue Ridge Parkway.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 49: 4/22. Today had some milestones that I would care to share with ya all.

First of all, I hiked my biggest mileage of the trip & did my first 30 plus miler!. Officially I hiked 31.8 miles, which puts me at 748.5 miles from Springer & 1427.7 miles from Katahdin. I dont plan to do alot of 30 milers, but I had to get one in in Virginia. God was very gracious & the trail very nice today.

Also at Curry Creek, I officially hiked one third of the trail. Only 2/3rd more to go! Yeah.

Also today, I crossed the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) for my first time. The trail goes along the BRP for about 200 more miles. It is kindo of nice the see the occasional car every once in a while.

Also today, I saw 7 more deer. All does. That brings my animal sightings to:
Deer- 10
Bears - 0
Moose - 0
Birds & squirrels - tons.

I am at Bryant Ridge shelter, one of the AT's largest with 4 ladies headed south. All of them are believers! CJ didnt want to do the 30 miler today.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Layed to rest.jpg

Layed to rest.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 48: April 21st. Today about 2 miles into my hike into Daleville, I slipped on a small rock and fell. I was ok, but my trusty hiking stick died! It broke in half. I tried to duct tape it together, since duct tape fixes everything, but to no avail. So CJ gave it a final eulogy and we laid it to rest in the woods once again. It served me well for about 710 miles. I quickly found a new, more sturdier hiking stick, since I dont have hiking poles! All is well again.

But today we officially hiked 9.4 miles into Daleville for a nero. We are 716.7 miles from Springer & 1459.5 miles from Katahdin. We are staying at a Howard Johnson hotel for the night! It is nice since it rained on us yesterday and this morning. It is actually raining as I type this message, so hopefully it will be clear skies tomorrow! We had Mexican for lunch...3 soft tacos and a taco salad for me! Not to bad, actually. Then we went to the outfitter and Kroger to resupply for the next few days. We plan to order a Papa John's pizza for dinner! We met Piglette and Smoky last night in the shelter and they are staying at the HOJO as well.

Cheryl: Great to hear from you, and that you found my site! How exciting! I am glad to hear that you, Laisa and your family is doing well and that Laisa will be moving closer to you guys! Tell her I said hello!

Snider! Great to hear from you. Thanks for leaving your number because I had lost it! Will be in contact! Hope you and Noah is doing well!

Steve: Welcome to the blog! I cant wait to hear about Bill's journeys on the AT as well! Hope to meet you after the trip! God bless.

Eikenberry: I hope my beard gets as long as Dartman's beard! That would be cool, but I doubt it will. I could braid it and everything! lol.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

McAfee Knob.jpg

McAfee Knob.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 47: April 20th. Here I am at McAfee knob, which was the coolest spot yet on the AT. The views of God's creation were magnificient. We took some cool pics as you can see. Also at this spot we past the 700 mile mark! Although you can easily hike up 3.5 miles from the parking lot below and see the same sight, but it was even more amazing after 700 miles on the AT.

Well after hiking down to the next shelter (only like a mile away), we could see a storm a coming. Though we wanted to hike another 6 miles to the next shelter, but that meant going over Tinker cliffs. Which the guide book said are dangerous in bad weather, so throwing caution out the window we pressed on. About 10 mins into the hike it starts pouring & thundering and lightening. Yikes. There was no turning back. After many prayers, we reached the cliffs as the storm quit & the sun came out! God is awesome. Awesome views too.

Officially I hiked 24 miles. We are at 707.3 miles from Springer & 1468.9 from Katahdin.


Homeplace Restraunt.jpg

Homeplace Restraunt.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

April 20th...lunch.

Well I didnt plan on eating here but in the registers, hikers kept saying that they were hitting up the homeplace's AYCE. So, not turning food down I hike into Catawba for lunch. That is where I found CJ eating his 3rd dessert! It is southern cooking family style and all you can eat! I had fried chicken, ham, mash potatoes with gravy, coleslaw, green beans, fried apples, & cherry cobbler with ice cream. Yummy!

So as we were leaving met POW & TLC again & Leslie (now Viewfinder). I guess TLC broke her foot, so they got off the trail in Damascus, and drove here for dinner. Now that is how famous this restraunt is. My prayers go out to TLC. God bless & speedy recovery.

Keffer Oak.jpg

Keffer Oak.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 46: April 19th. This is CJ standing next to the Keffer Oak. It is the largest oak tree on the AT in the south. Last measured, the girth was 18 feet, 3 inches. Wow! It is estimated to be 300 years old. Amazing, eh! That was my nature lesson of the day.

Officially I hiked 22.5 miles, but CJ hiked 29.2 miles. More on that later. I stayed at the Pickle Branch shelter, which is 684.3 miles from Springer & 1491.9 from Katahdin. We broke the 1500 mile barrier today!

Well when I got to the shelter I got the 2nd to last space, and it just started raining. CJ comes by a little later (I hike fast with the treat of rain). Well CJ doesnt do full shelters, cause he likes to have room, so he hikes another 6.7 in the rain over Dragon's Tooth and stays at a gas station. He and Heavenbound just slept under the gas station awning for the night. It was sweet though cause he got cheese burgers for dinner & had access to a great breakfast. Too funny.


Audie Leon Murphy Memorial.jpg

April 19th. The last post was on the 19th as well. Well since we just had a geography lesson, I will share a history lesson I learned today as well. I learned alot today.

Here is the Audie Leon Murphy memorial. He died in a plane crash near this spot. You maybe wondering who this Audie person is, just like I was when I came to his memorial. Although I bet grandma knows.

Well Audie was the most decorated soldier of World War II. He recieved 24 decorations including the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Cross & 2 purple hearts. He was from Texas. He also starred in many Hollywood war movies. Interesting.

Eastern Continental Divide.jpg

I thought I would share this site with you all, and since Dana has informed me that she is teaching her class about geography.

I am in the Sinking Creek Mountains at the eastern continental divide! The water that runs off the western side goes to the Mississippi River & into the Gulf of Mexico. The water running off the eastern side empties into the James river & eventually into the Atlantic Ocean. Cool.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Stony Creek Forge.jpg

Stony Creek Forge.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 45: April 18th. Today we got to forge our first creek. I guess in 2004, hurricaine Jeannie took out the Stony creek bridge, and there was a 1.5 mile road walk detour. But, obviously we missed the detour signs and came upon the creek. We decided to throw caution out the window and forge ahead. It was only ankle deep, but ice cold. So, we put on our crocks and made it across safely. We are still purists. lol. We also thought it would be good practice for Maine! We couldnt believe it's been 4 years now & the bridge is still out. Hmmm...

We officially did 18.5 miles today, which puts us at 661.8 miles from Springer & 1514.4 miles from Katahdin. It was very hot today, and I probably didnt drink enough water throughout the day, cause we we dragging near the end. It could of been that Kelly's Knob climb was actually pretty difficult too. Hopefully tomorrow will be cooler. They are calling for chance of rain.

Wow, just found out Lafayette had a 5.4 earthquake! Unreal.


Pine Swamp Branch Shelter.jpg

Pine Swamp Branch Shelter.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 44: April 17th. CJ & I are at The shelter where a tree fell on the roof in 2007. I dont believe anyone was hurt, but as you can see the roof is now missing. It was suppose to be fixed by 2008. Though there is no threat of rain tonight, so we are sleeping here for tonight.

We are officially 643.3 miles from Springer & 1532.9 miles from Katahdin. We did 19.3 miles today in the sun! Beautiful hiking weather.

Yesterday Amee & I went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner & then found a cold stone cremery, which has the best ice cream we know of! I had my usual mint mint chocolate chip...yummy.

It was harder for me leaving Amee this time than it was is Hot Springs, and just the opposite for her. Virginia is definetly long and monotonous, but Lord willing I only have 19 more days in this state! I am looking forward to Shenadoah national forest though.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Dartman.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

This is Dartman. I met him on day 31. He thru-hiked in 2001 and actually hiked with a hiker named shepherd. I actually got to talk with 2001 shepherd. Too funny.

He is a very nice guy who loves to talk and eat ramps, which he will tell you about. Ramps are like a wild onion that can be found on the trail. Adds flavor to trail food.

He got his trail name cause he carried his own darts with him on his 2001 hike, and actually played some games in the northeast.

Dirty Dancing.jpg

Dirty Dancing.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 43: April 16th. Today we have just been chilling in Pearisburg & Christiansburg. There isnt much to do and see, but one thing of interest is that they filmed part of Dirty Dancing at a resort here in Pearisburg. It is called Blue Mountain Resort. They were still closed for the season, so we were limited on what we could see. Still it was fun.

We are now trying to resolve the free advertizing I am giving Verizon on my blog.


sorry for the finger in the photo.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pearisburg, VA

Day 42: April 15th.

Got into Pearisburg at 11:30 and immediately went to the Pizza Hut's AYCE lunch buffett with CJ, Rat Sandwhich, Matthew & Five Bags. We put a dent in their profits today! lol. 5 hungry hikers and pizza! Yeah baby. We did a short 8.2 miles into town, so we are officially 624 miles from Springer & 1552.2 miles from Katahdin!

Amee got into town at around 1:30 and we checked into the hotel. I got a shower and we went to wash my clothes and go to the post office! With a side trip to Dairy Queen for another Blizzard!

Pastor Scott! Got the package and the goodies! THANK YOU so much! I loved the Mouse-B-Gone stickers! Also I havent read that book and I needed some new reading material! Thanks again! Will let you know what I think of it! Also I think I will go with the coffee system and try to make some more friends on the trail with free coffee! Thanks for the system and the coffee and filters...way more than I had expected. I love to lighten my pack!! To God be the glory!

Then we went to Virginia Tech and ate at Boston Beanery, which was delicious! Tomorrow is the one year anniversery of the VT shootings, so there are alot of news vans around and vigils planned for tomorrow. We may try to check it out if we can find it. CJ actually is a graduate of VT, so he will be there.

Well enjoying my rest days with Amee. Time to chill and watch a movie.

Debbie: Yes, tell Doug I use my pepsi can stove every night! It has worked wonders. I even gave one of my 2 extras to a guy who needed to go lighter with his pack. He was very thankful! Grandma, I love you! Hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!

Margie: Thanks for the mention of leaving the day with my posts. I have been actually thinking about doing that, but thought it showed when I posted. It actually only shows the time. So that will be a future addition! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Lakewood: It is too ironic. As I sit here at this computer at the Motor Lodge Inn, I looked over and on their pinup board is your "thank you" picture at Katahdin! Too funny. It is the first time Amee has seen a pic of you ..I believe. I am hoping my beard gets as long as yours was! lol.


Dynamite.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

This is Dynamite, who is from New Hampshire. He use to go to Cornell but is transfering to UNH I believe. He Plays soccer and is a goalie. He has a trail journal on

He got his trail name cause he looks like Napolean Dynamite.

Dismal Falls.jpg

Dismal Falls.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 41: April 14th. Well today we hiked 22.2 official miles, but actually hiked 23.8 miles when you factor in our side trips. We are officially past the 600 mile mark at 615.8 miles from Springer & 1560.4 miles from Katahdin. We are at the Doc Knob shelter. It is 8.2 miles from Pearisburg.

Today we went to Trent's grocery for lunch and had a cheeseburger and fries. We also got a sandwhich to go for dinner. Then we went to Dismal falls, which some one said it was like a mini-niagra falls. Far from it as you can see from the picture, but it was still pretty cool.

Today we got snowed on again. It snowed about 1/2 inch! Woo Hoo. It was better than rain though. Hopefully this is the last cold spell.

Matthew, CJ, 5 bags & Rat sandwhich are here. Rat sandwhich actually killed a mouse in the shelter and skewered it up & cooked it. Then ate the mouse meat on a cracker. He has pictures to prove it. Very cool.



Clifbars.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 40: Well we officially hiked 23.8 miles to Jenny Knob shelter. We are 593.2 miles from Springer & 1583.0 miles from Katahdin.

Nothing much happened today except a lot of ridge hiking. It did snow on us this morning, which is a lot better than rain! So we had some wicked weather here lately. Two days ago it was in the 80's and today snow! Tomorrow is calling for more snow. Yeah.

Here at the shelter is 5 bags, Matthew, CJ, Flying House of Steve and his 10 year old daughter, Necter. They are thruhiking as well.

Also about the pic. I tried my first Clifbar yesterday, and it was the best energy bar I have tasted. 4 stars here!

About yesterdays post, I started the fire to dry out my clothes, which I washed due to all the salt! I am not sure if I mentioned it or not.

Also sorry about the Verizon ads at the end of my posts. I am not sure why they are there & Amee just informed me of them today. Will try to correct the problem in Pearisburg. I hope they are not to distracting.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cowboy Killer.jpg

Cowboy Killer.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

This is the infamous Cowboy Killer...aka Sam. He grew up in Maryland but goes to school at Georgia Tech.

He got his name after killing a cowboy in Reno. lol. No he actually got it because he smokes a lot, and CJ named him Cowboy Killer. Cause cigarettes killed the Marborlo Cowboy.

So the you have it.

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Gods Thumbpint.jpg

Gods Thumbpint.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 39: This is a picture of God's thumbprint or also known as Burkes Garden. It is a large , crater-shaped depression surrounded all around by high ridges. It was the first choice for the Vanderbuilts to build their Biltmore estate. It was very beautiful. The best thing I have seen in a few days.

Officially we hiked 19.1 miles today. We are 569.4 miles from Springer & 1606.8 miles from Katahdin.

It was nice to have CJ back with us, and his humor! We are staying at the Jenkins Shelter tonight with Matthew, Bobcat & Trailmix. We got a nice fire started cause I rinsed off my clothes today cause they were caked in salt from my sweat. It was bad. They could of stood up by themselves.
3 more days till Amee!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fence ladders.jpg

Fence ladders.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 38: Well officially hiked 13.9 miles today to Knot Maul Shelter. We are 550.3 miles from Springer & 1625.9 miles from Katahdin. We have now finished 25.3% of the trail! Yeah baby!

Today it was HOT! It got up to 83 degrees, and it was the toughest day in a while due to the heat. I was sweating buckets. Plus today we went over about 12 fence ladders, cause we hiked through alot of pastures. Felt like being at Hostetler farm! Had to watch where you stepped while saying hi to the cows. Wished I had the Gator though.

Did get to see my first wild turkey today. It was huge. CK is here. Still no sign of Dynamite and CJ yet.

note: CJ came in at 7 pm! Yeah! welcome back.

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Widowmaker and Molassas.jpg

Widowmaker and Molassas.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

This is Widowmaker & Molassas. I met them at Wise shelter. Widowmaker thru-hiked in 2007 & actually met Lakewood. Small world. He brought Molassas out for a 4 day hike through the highlands to Damascus. He got his trailname after a tree fell on him when he was sleeping before Neel's gap.

They are both from Ohio. OH - IO. lol. It was molassas' first night on the AT. She hardly got any sleep during the night cause she kept hearing the mice and the animal prowling around our shelter. We told her it will get better & she will get sleep soon.

They are both believers in Christ, which was pretty cool. Got to hear Widowmaker's testimony. To God be the glory.

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Red Barn.jpg

Red Barn.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 37: Well officially hiked 22 mikes today in like 7 hours! We were on fire. I can see how hikers put in long mileage through Virginia. Lots of nice flat areas and grated hills...very nice! We are 536.4 miles from Springer & 1639.8 miles from Katahdin.

Today it was hot! Temp up to 81 degrees. Actually hiked in shorts for the first time today. Thought it was about time to get some sun on my white chicken legs. It was great.

Also we lost one more of our 4 horseman today. Dynamite stayed back at Partnership shelter due to blister problems. So it is only Cowboy Killer and I for now, but I am sure the 4 horseman will ride again together soon. Still missing CJ.

We also had pizza delivered to us for lunch at the Partnership shelter. It was the nicest shelter so far, and had a shower which was not on yet. Had a small supreme pizza. Very delicious. Excellent hiking food.

Andrew: thanks for your help. greatly appreciate it!


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Interesting sign .jpg

Interesting sign .jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Came upon this sign about a mile from Partnership shelter. It seems alittle out of place cause it only takes about 3 steps to cross a road for a hiker. Plus what are the speed limits for hikers, and are the fines doubled for speeding! lol. Well we got a laugh from it!

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Trimpi Shelter.jpg

Trimpi Shelter.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 36: Nothing much happened to me or the elephant I am riding or to my 2 sheep I am shepherding. Although last night I lost one of my sheep to the wild ponies. I didnt see it coming, but was able to knit a wool hat and had some lamb burgers for lunch today. lol.

Actually, two things happened. I broke through the 500 mile barrier, and realized that we are done with 5000 & 6000 ft mountains till New Hampshire. Yeah. Officially did 20 miles today, which puts me at 514.2 or 23.6% of the trail completed.

Cowboy killer (story of his name to come) & Dynamite are here with me at this shelter. Still no CJ. Hopefully he will catch up to us.

Only 6 more days till I get to see Amee in Pearisburg!

Christine: Praying you & baby is doing well. Shane as well.

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Grayson Highlinds.jpg

Grayson Highlinds.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 35: Well if I thought the view from Hightop mnt was cool, I had an eye opener at the Highlands.

After Hightop, we went over Mt. Rogers to Thomas Knob shelter. There I ate dinner & headed on to Wise shelter. That is where I encountered the Highlands!

Grayson Highlands are the coolest part of the trail so far. They have wild ponies in the park. I saw 16 adult ponies & 2 younglings. I even got them to come up to me and lick my hand. Plus 2 bunny rabbits. I will put up some cool videos at Pearisburg.

Officially I hiked 23.7 miles today. I am 494.2 miles from Springer & 1682.0 miles from Katahdin.

Also today the 4 horsemen disbanded for the night. I am the only one here from our group. Dynamite & CK are tenting in the Highlands, and CJ actually is at his home. He had to get his warm sleeping back & will hopefully catch back up by Pearisburg. I have been hiking with CJ since day 14. I am alittle bummed tonight.

Lakewood: Widowmaker is here tonight. He thrud in 2007 & ran into u.

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Whitetop Mnt.jpg

Whitetop Mnt.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Hiked up Whitetop Mnt to Buzzard Rocks. Great views all around. Ate lunch up there for about an hour. Dynamite is chilling out and catching a nap.

Just wanted to post about it. More to come!


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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Willie Boy.jpg

Willie Boy.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Good morning.

This is Willie Boy, who I met 4 days ago at Kincora hostel. He lives in Chicago.

Found out that he has 4 brothers that live in Lafayette, and that I actually work with one of them at Home hospital. His name is Chris DeFabio. I dont believe I have ever met him, but some of my coworkers knows him. It is a small world.

Well he is also thruhiking, and is doing well.

Beautiful morning so far. Not sure how far I will hike today.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Saunders Shelter.jpg

Saunders Shelter.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 34: Well today we didn't get out of the gates like we wanted. CJ had to get a pedicure, his back waxed & a massage. Nah, actually only a massage. He said it was totally worth it. I should of got one. So we didnt get on the trail till 3:30 pm. No complaints from me cause we just cont. to chill in the AC house with running water, tv and a refrig! Again thanks Joe & Kaye.

So officially we hiked 9.4 miles. We are 470.5 miles from Springer & 1705.7 miles from Katahdin. The weather was sunny & 70's. Very nice with very minimal bugs. Spring has arrived. Trees are flowering & some flowers are popping up along the trail. It is nice to see. Although I am about 6.5 miles off schedule, but that shouldnt be hard to make up. Get to see Amee in 8 days! Yeah.

Here at the shelter with the 4 horseman (what we are calling ourselves when we hike together), Matthew & Willie boy! I am glad to see Willie again. Will post about him tomorrow!

God bless,

Joe and Kaye Boggs.jpg

Joe and Kaye Boggs.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Here are CJ's parents, who went out of their way to feed and house 4 hungry thru-hikers. They are wonderful people, and I cant thank them enough for all the love they have shown me. To God be the glory.

Thanks again.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday service at Anitoch Church.jpg

Day 33: Well this was the longest I have walked to go to church. lol. The pastor even mentioned something about walking 400 plus miles to come to this church. Too funny.

Kaye, CJ, & I went to service. It was very refreshing to be back with God's people and to hear a biblical sermon and sing some hymns. We were in the book of Acts today talking about Christ's appearances after His resurrectuon. To God be the glory.

Now it is lunch at Outback and then resupply time! It is nice not having to hike today.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Home Cooked Meal.jpg

Home Cooked Meal.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Well I am stuffed! Check out the spread that Kaye fixed us. She had to be cooking all day. We had roast beef, potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, beets, corn bread & salad. For dessert we had peach blueberry cobbler with ice cream, brownies, apple cake & oatmeal raisen cookies. Wow! thanks again for such wonderful hospitality.
It was delicious! To actually have food with vitamins and minerals was such a treat.

Tennessee and Virgina state line.jpg

Day 32: Well we made it to Damascus! We hiked at tough 25.9 miles today. My feet and legs definetly are feeling it. We are 461.1 miles from Springer & 1715.1 miles from Katahdin.

Also we knocked out another state today. Tennesse is finished, so 3 down and 11 more to go. Unfortunetly Virginia has over 550 miles long, so we will be here for awhile.

We are on our way to the Boggs' super deluxe hostel in Bristol. I cant wait for another shower and home cooking! Plus, I will get to go to church tomorrow! Yeah.

In the picture is me on the state line marker.

Happy birthday G-knee!


Minature Shelter.jpg

Minature Shelter.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

We came across this shelter about 11.3 miles from Damascus. The funny thing about this shelter was that it was super small. If you can see Dynamite & Cowboy Killer are actually standing up in the shelter and you can only see their body from the chest down cause the entry way is only like 4 ft high. It barely sleeps 2. We found out that this is an emergency shelter, but it wasnt even in the data books. Funny. Well here is what I put in the register at this shelter. Warning: it isnt politically correct. lol.

This shelter was created for the increasing Japanese/Chinese hiking community on the AT or it is the honeymoon love shack for the newlyweds on the trail. Although you couldnt carry your new bride into the shelter. lol.

Well, we all had a good laugh there and got some great pictures. There were also some other good register entries as well.


Friday, April 4, 2008

One Month Snapshot.jpg

One Month Snapshot.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 31: Well one month of being on the trail is now in the books. Hard to imagine that it has been that long. I thought I would snap a pic of me, so everyone can see my transformation into grizzly adams. Here are some one month stats as I reflect back.

Officially hiked 24.3 miles today, so we are 435.2 miles from Springer & 1741.0 from Katahdin, which averages out to be 14 miles per day.

Shelters: 19
Hostels: 4
Hotels: 4
Tarp: 3
Cowboy: 1
Showers: 8
Laundry: 4
Rain: 7
Snow: 3
Campfires: 11
Poptarts: 62
Snickers: 30
Paydays: 13
Nabs: 14
Pizza slices: 18
Cookies: 10
M&M's: 5
Milkways: 4
Ben & Jerry's: 2
Mayfield Ice cream: 2

Also I had lost 5 pounds by Hot Springs. Down to 162 lbs.

Tomorrow we will hike 25.9 into Damascus to spend the next 2 days with the Boggs' family! Yeah! Thank you. God bless.


PS: Totally understand about being under the weather. Hope you're feeling better, will be praying for you. No problem about Damascus, OK to send to Pearisburg PO. Thanks

Risk at Kincora Hostel.jpg

Risk at Kincora Hostel.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 30: Today was an easy nero day. Officially 9.3 miles, which puts us 410.9 miles from Springer & 1765.3 from Katahdin.

We are at Kincora hostel, which definetly gets 4 stars. Bob Peoples goes out of his way to cater to hikers. Bill plan to stay here. Showered and ate 3 beef n chedders & curly fries at Arby's. Dynamite ate over 3000 cals there! Then we went back to play some Risk! One of the greatest game created. I came out victorious, when all hope looked lost. Then we had some pizza & ice cream for dessert, and I know I am still loosing weight.

Well 2 days til Damascus. Rain in the forecast. Yeah.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hump Mountain.jpg

Hump Mountain.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 29: Wonderful day for hiking. To God be the glory. This picture is of CJ hiking up Hump Mnt. In the distance you can see little hump mnt & Bradley's gap. This area is by far the most beautiful part of the trail to date. 360 degree views, took lots of pics and some video. Amazing. God's creation is beautiful. Worth the climb over Roan.

Well today we planned on hiking 17.4 miles but when do we listen to reason. We then decided to hike another 3.8 miles to Abby's place hostel. Well found that was closed for 2008, so we decided to hike onwards another 2 miles and camped at hardcore cascades. Officially, we hike 23.2 miles, and 401.6 miles from Springer.

So today we officially said goodbye to NC. 2 states down & 12 more to go. Plus we broke into the 400 mile territory! Yeah.

Then we will take a nero at Kincora hostel to resupply for Damascus push.

Happy birthdaty dad! Love ya!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jane Bald.jpg

Jane Bald.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 28: Well today was a beautiful day for hiking. God is great! He is even if it rained today. Wonderful views from Jane Bald and Grassy ridge. Thx Lakewood & PS for the heads up. Took lots of pics!

Officially did 12.9 miles, but that included Roan mnt. Our last 6000 ft mnt till NH. It was tough but not horrible. Did groan a few times though. It is a multi-tear mnt, so you go up & level off like 7 times before getting to the top! The southbounders have it easy going up Roan, it was very easy downhill!

Officially we are 377.9 miles from Springer & 1798.3 miles from Katahdin. We are in an old barn converted to a shelter with great views. Overmountain Shelter. CJ, Dynamite & Sam (now called Cowboy Killer) are here as well.

God bless,

Pine forest.jpg

Pine forest.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Day 27: Praise God we made it to our shelter safe & sound. The day started off ominous with the threat of rain, and everyone was sick from the chinese yesterday. CJ couldn't even eat his Sonic breakfast buritto! Well we left the hostel at 9 am, planning to do 16.6 easy miles since it is all uphill & our packs are full of food.

Well CJ had this brilliant idea about half way to the shelter to go on to the next shelter since thunderstorms were forecasted tomorrow. Well once we did the 16.6 miles, we found out the next shelter was 8.8 more miles. So what did we do, you guessed it. We hiked on!

So officially we hiked 25.2 miles, the longest yet. We are 365 miles from Springer & 1811.2 miles from Katahdin. Yes we are lean mean hiking machines, but only plan to do 12.9 miles tomorrow! We got into the shelter at 7:15 pm.

The views from beauty spot were awesome, plus the pine forest on top of Unaka mnt was something out of a movie set.

Tomorrow is Roan mnt! Yeah baby.