Thursday, January 6, 2011

Learning the Hard WAY!

Physically everybody is different, shoes for one are not necessarily for someone else.


(This is Sir Richard, over here from the UK, a great guy!)

When we first started backpacking we used boots and shoes we accepted as comfortable. They weren’t. The experts then told us you need this or that. We bought them. My feet still burned after a few miles with the pack. I decided to go home and get my work boots, I had worked in them 8-12 hours a day and they never hurt. The first day I threw them out, they about killed me, working and walking are different.


(One of our camp sites on the last hike)

After about a thousand miles of hiking I found that the best thing for me was Reebok tennis shoes with the toes split with my knife. Wow I was amazed, I had talked to experts on boots and shoes and nobody had the answer. We found it ourselves. I am not saying that is right for everyone, but that is the best for me.

Sherry also went to tennis shoes (I guess they are not really tennis shoes anymore, but that is what I call them). Sherry lost most of her toe nails until she switched. My feet did not burn anymore; I assumed it was because of the ventilation with the split toes.


(This mountain shot is actually from Pike’s Peak, of Denver. I got it mixed in with the AT)

Yep, I got a lot of strange looks around the campfires (that we built) as hikers stopped by to warm or spend the night. I say we built, because most hikers are too tired to drag up wood to build a camp fire. Sherry and I hiked only 6-9 miles a day, while these kids were hiking from 12-26 miles a day and they were beat and enjoyed a fire that they did not have to work for. It was a pleasure sitting around and hearing the hissing of little gas stoves as they fixed supper and crawled into their sleeping bags dead tired. The conversations with the youths who were out to prove they could live with nature for 6-8 months and hike 2176 miles were very interesting.


(This is ‘Cricket’ at the beginning of the 100 mile wilderness, At this point she has hiked (solo) about 2,000 miles in 6 months)

Generally over 2000 hikers start but only a couple hundred finishes.

The tales were as interesting as their trail names: One sweet young girl was called ‘Pig Pen’. There was Choo Choo, Chilly Willie, Just Ray, Shaggy, Miles to Go, Moose Burger, Papa Smirf, Boats, Chief, Cuppa Joe, and a million others it seemed. We were called the ‘Overland Hermits’.

Three hikers Monsoon

(We caught these three Hikers in Monson, ME, shopping for food for the 100 mile wilderness, the one on the right is Cricket, one of the guys is ‘Stretch’ the other Tin Man I think, I would have to look it up!)

We have been talking, we only need to hike a little over 300 miles to finish the Appalachian Trail, and we want to give it one more try. Sherry said, ‘Let’s try to do the hundred mile wilderness; at least we can do that.’ That is the last 100 miles of the trail with no towns or public roads. We just might try it after the ‘black fly season’ next year.

Thanks for reading this mess,

Nite Shipslog


Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw fish to them.


Cher' Shots said...

You and Sherry are such a GREAT inspiration!!!!!
'love & hugs from afar'

Fred Alton said...

Hahaha! Dolphins ARE smart! Wish I could teach people to throw fish to me. Uh... uh... well, maybe not. I'll just go to Cap'n D's and get it served on a plate.

Let me see now. I think you said something like 6 miles a day...which would mean I might hike that 100 miles in two months? Honestly - I'm intrigued with the idea of hiking across the section of the trail that peaks above Gatlinburg, which is only about 60 miles long, I hear. Have you written the book about your trail hikes? I'd love to hear your stories.

Helen said...

Good luck on that trail hike. I agree, Dolphins are smart.Helen

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You two are amazing. I like to hike but my hikes are limited to 5-10 miles around our metro park system here. When my boys were younger our scout troop did 25-50 mile hikes but I only did part of the loop. Walking is something I love to do but hiking the Appalacian trail is all together different. It's great you've been able to do it.

Coffeeveggie addict. said...

happy new year jack and sherry i miss you much here!

hugsss from...,

shirl72 said...

I got tired just reading about all the walking you and Sherry have done. About 2 and half miles is about all I can do in a day. Not walking now but we have lot of walkers here so maybe I will join them.


Glenda said...

Go for it, that 100 miles sounds like a real
challenge, will be a significant accomplishment!
And you'll have more stories for those of us who
wish we could and live vicariously reading your
blog :)

Paula said...

I call 'em tennis shoes too.

Anonymous said...

What a nice way to talk about life. Surely worth to walk a step, one more and just another one, another one ...

Past four already, have to sleep a handful - wishing you all a good Friday.

Dar said...

Mercy, Jack, you make a young gal like me long for the trail again...I haven't done any significant hiking since we used to camp. Ya know, if you do the 100 DURING the black fly season, you might get there faster....not that I recommend it, however. You two slay me, all that energy. You are truly blessed...Bill says to tell you come to work with him, he puts on at least 5 miles an hour. He says it would be great training for the AT. He might even put you to work., you're a fix-it man, after all.