Monday, August 27, 2012

More notes of The Appalachian Trail

There is a lure to ‘The Trail’. One that causes folks who hike, the trail to want to help those who come behind them.


(Sherry outside a shelter in the Smokies. There they have chain link on the front to keep the bear out. they are in the process of removing it.)

Hundreds of hikers volunteer to clean, repair and tend to the 2176 miles of trail. We met a man in the Smokies who was living in a tent for the summer as a Trail Maintenance Supervisor. He had a Masters in Business. Sherry had been hearing something I could not hear. He was working around a shelter where we had stopped to overnight. He told her she was hearing the coyote. 

I have mentioned that those who cannot work, become ‘trail angels’ and assist hikers.  Each lean-to or shelter, has a journal. Hikers passing thru leave their thoughts, philosophies, notes on conditions of the trail, the closest water and any tidbits they like. Some who are artists  have drawn some great pictures in the journals.  Journals are very interesting. The only negative, mean statement I ever read in one was in upper Pennsylvania, I remember it well:

“God bless us all and our countries, EXCEPT THE USA, who deserves no blessings at all”. signed by: The flying Frenchman.

As you can imagine there were a few entries about this and it spread thru out the trail very quickly.  Of course I added my disdain to his comment.


(Sherry reading a shelter journal at the Watauga Lake Shelter)

There are some special places you remember, One was ‘Mountain Mamas’ Café and Hostel. Located at the North end of the Smokies. She had a ‘trail famous’ cheeseburger and it was GOOD. she has closed down.

There is Mull’s Motel in Hiawassee, GA. Not the best motel around but some great folk. WE forgot our hiking sticks and they held them for us. I needed some white gas for my stove but didn’t want to buy a gallon, the owner filled my stove and my extra tank and would accept nothing.

There are some beautiful and neat spots. In Virginia, the trail goes thru Grayson Highlands. The neat thing here is besides the normal wild life, they have wild Shetland ponies.

When the trail goes close to a NJ Deli a hiker cannot wait to get a breakfast sandwich (NY/NJ). Everything fresh, the bun fresh baked right there. When you leave you must take a home-made cinnamon bun for later. Bakeries are also a treat. One is within 50’ of where the trail crosses a road.

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We met ‘Uncle Walt’, a slow but plodding hiker. Knowing he would not make it for his Cinnamon roll, we were there on time and bought 6 day old buns. I stuffed them in the edge of our pack. Going down the trail we met ‘Uncle Walt’, he knew he would not make Worthington Bakery on US206, before it closed, he looked ‘down’, but when Sherry pulled some rolls out, he brightened up. Don’t you  just love doing a good deed?

Thanks for coming this way to read….

Nite Shipslog


Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.



I had one of these, one tough truck! 1968 Ford Pick/up


Anonymous said...

I've always appreciated the slow & plodding. Some of them actually get a lot done, with minimum drama & fuss. ~Mary

Anonymous said...

Many times these places you describe read like another Universe. Must be a great mean to measure time and life by these journals. Hope they are kept and taken care, maybe even an exhibition.
Please have you all a good Tuesday.

shirl72 said...

I remember following you on the
trail with my map. It was fun.
You sent us a CD and it was injoyable you explained where you
were and waht was going on.

I know you are looking forward to the hike. The neighbor across the street said he and his sons are going to hike a trail somewhere in Penn. close to the Application trail. He said the name but it didn't stick in my mind I was doing yard work when he came by walking his dog.

Happy Trails to you.


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

What wonderful memories you have there. Hope soon you 'll be making some new ones and taking pictures to go with them for us to see too. It rained about all day here. Just what we needed!

Chatty Crone said...

You paid it forward Jack - I love when people do that. That was such a kind deed. sandie

Louis la Vache said...

What a kind gesture you and Sherry did for "Uncle Walt"!

Paula said...

People who hike seem like a special kind of folk.

Dar said...

So sweet that you thought of slow and plodding Uncle Walt and his smile was all you needed for appreciation. You are some kind, genuine folks, I've said it before and mean it.
As for the ungrateful to be hiking on USA soil, so what was he doing there? just a thought...can't please everyone and don't know what he walked in to make him angry. I'd just pray for the sad soul.

Jean said...

Hi Jack, I know you are wondering why this old lady is up so late, lol. I came back here to use the desktop so I could leave a message. I enjoy following your trips on your blog and can't wait to hear about the 100 mile hike with Fred, Fred’s friend, Fred’s brother and your son. I don't blame Sherry for waiting at home. A hundred miles is a long hike. Lol. Take care, Jean

Y said...

Unnerving that a man hiking in our country can show disdain for the very blessing on which he is standing. So many people never stop being snarky teenagers. I say they should stay home.


Glad Walt got his bun. That was so sweet to make somebody's day. The journals sound interesting, indeed. Quite a story they tell. Hate to have a coyote or bear sneak up on me out there. NEW adventures await you. take care.