Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

May 1, 2004

Here they are!

Finally, I got to talk to our crew! [beams]

Yesterday, they met Sarge and Dreamer on their way in from Sams Gap. They were waiting for a ride into town, too. The popular destination is Miss Janet's, which was unfortunately full, so Ruth and Dad stayed at Best Southern, instead.

Tomorrow should be another slack-packing day, either to Iron Mountain1, or somewhere closer (Indian Grave Gap). According to Dad, they "should have a nice leisurely 20 miles tomorrow."

April 303012 miles
May 13124.5 miles
3219 miles

Day 28 - April 28

The other day coming across Spring Mountain Shelter, they saw a peacock! Just hanging out in the woods! On a rock!

Day 31 - May 1

On the trail at 7:30, off by 5pm, and packed in 24 mile slack-packing day. A little drizzly this morning, so no views from Bald Mountain's peak, but the clouds moved off as they descended, affording some breathtaking views out over the town.

They hiked with a few others today, one being Dreamer. He's 65, and was setting the pace - apparently a little fast. Dad said he looked like Rocky going up the steps, and Ruth added that on the way down, they were practically running. Dreamer's knees didn't seem to like the pace either, as he had a few knee problems towards the end, but everyone made it back alright, and he seems not to have done any lasting injury.

Register Shinnanagans

Ruth has been checking the registers as they pass shelters, just to see who's signed in, and where they are. Milo and Joe Flamingo have been going back and forth in them: awhile ago, Joe made a comment that Milo was named after his dead cat. Milo heard about this, and on a slack-packing day, shot back in the register, "I wouldn't pay too much attention to a guy that's named after an inflatable trinket." Of course, Joe Flamingo comes across this note later, since Milo had been ahead, and signed his writing, "Joe the inflatable trinket." In another register, since he was ahead, Milo invited Joe into town (Erwin), and offered to play cards to see who would pay for burritos. Joe signed in response, "You try to rag on a brother, and what does he do - he tries to kill you with kindness."

As a sidenote, Joe Flamingo is called that because he is carrying with him an inflatable flamingo that his coworkers and friends from home all signed. ;-)

The typical hiking/tenting day

Generally, you wake up needing to pee. And if that doesn't get you up, the sounds of others getting up and having to pee does. Dad said the first thing you did (after getting out of your bag) was put your feet out of the tent, and get your sandals on. Then everything else starts coming out of the tent - so you end up with a big pile to organize and pack up later. The bear bag has to come down, and you have to grab something to eat while you're packing. The tent, dirty clothes, and pads go in the packs first, and everything else goes in after. Dad guesses that pack up takes about 1/2 hour.

Finally, you start walking, usually until you reach the next shelter. A late breakfast, "elevensies," commences, after which, it's back to walking. The lunch stop is somewhere around 2 or 3. Dinner is also done mid-hike, as you don't want to stop too early. By 6 or 7, you're usually tired enough to ditch the packs and pitch the tent (the light is often starting to fade by that time, to boot).

When setting up camp again, they try to fill up on water (so they don't have to do that in the morning), and have to basically empty the rest of their packs. The food has to go up in a bear bag, and the tent and sleeping bags are shoved down in the bottom of the pack anyway. They leave all the pack zippers open (so curious critters can investigate without having to use their teeth). They do usually have a fire (in a fire ring).

Dad maintains, however, that a typical day on the trail is not typical. If it's really cold, you tend to stay in the sack, if it's warm already, and the sun is on the tent, you want to get up and get going. Also, for obvious reasons, a slack-packing or town day shapes itself completely differently.

Other Stuff

They hiked yesterday over an interesting ridge - it was white and rocky, not as steep or as long as the knife edge, but it didn't have a name. Bummer.

Enough for today. Chris wants to go have dinner. I'm sure you guys will let me know if I left anything out. And sorry Grandpa - there aren't any good maps I can find. :-P


1 Iron Mountain Gap, NC - NC226 - 357.9 miles.

Posted by erin . Saturday, 1 May 2004 . 07:25 PM, MDT .


  1. We are enjoying the commentary and pictures.
    Nice job Erin. Keep on trucking. Its nice to follow someone who has a life and doesn't have to be a diecaster for the rest of their life.Congratulations Ruth, maybe we'll see you at the lake. Hope all is well.
    Hess Lake

    Posted by jdc . Tuesday, 4 May 2004 . 08:41 PM, MDT . #
  2. To Mike and Ruth. Been following your trip. Sounds like a good one. Stay safe. Joe

    Posted by Joe Fedorka . Tuesday, 11 May 2004 . 05:51 PM, MDT . #
  3. Erin I am leaving tomorrow for Damascus to attend Trail Days. I know Mike and Ruth have already been there. Are they planning on coming back for the parade on Saturday? My son Tom is way behind. I haven't heard from him since Hot Springs. We are suppose to pick him up at Watauga Lake, but when I don't know.

    Posted by Bob Cunningham . Wednesday, 12 May 2004 . 06:23 PM, MDT . #
  4. Hi Bob!

    They plan to hitch back to Damascus on Saturday, yes. I'll let them know that you asked, and that you'll be around. [beams]

    Posted by Erin . Thursday, 13 May 2004 . 03:17 AM, MDT . #
  5. Joe! You found us!

    Dad has been pestering me to call you since day 1 on the trail - but I had and still have no idea where I put your phone number, or your email address, or any of that good stuff. [shakes head]

    He'll be glad to know you're following along, too.

    Posted by Erin . Thursday, 13 May 2004 . 03:19 AM, MDT . #