Friday, March 30, 2012

Ramps and more trail magic

Before I forget, I want to let you know that I visited some more with Beowolf, and the reason for his trail name is because he has a degree from Emory College in Boston in Literature, and he has the first two lines of Beowolf tattooed on his shoulder. I hope to get a picture of him. He has a long beard, but from his chin down is wrapped in jute, like a hair wrap, but hanging about 12 inches from his chin. He also told me that he's a fire breather. I'm not making this up. I asked how he did that, and he uses some kind of lamp oil. I found this ironic be ause he has pretty much a candlewick hanging from his chin. This might make for some amusing campfire entertainment in the future.

His buddy, Kitten got his name because when he told his dad he was going to hike the AT, his dad told him he'd better not come back with some kind of sissy trail name like Kitten. He made the mistake of telling his hiking buddies that story, and well, hence the name.

This morning I was actually woken up by someone's alarm going off at 6:30! I couldn't believe it! So far, we've been going to bed and waking up by the sun. Found out later it was Kittens phone. I hope that was an accident, but he didn't act like it was. Must remember not to camp close to Kitten again.

At lunch today, we met a local who was hiking through the woods. He looked like a real Appalachian old timer. He had a very weathered face, was probably about 70, and when we visited with him, found out he was collecting ramps. I had heard of these when researching this trip. They even have ramp festivals. He was kind enough to show us what they are. They are kind of like a spicy wild onion. He was going to take them home, cook them with bacon til tender, and then scramble in some eggs. He was describing this to 5 very hungry hikers who were taking a lunch break. I think we were all drooling. He left us and walked down the hill back to his home. Today we had a really tough day, and our longest yet - 14 miles - and I am exhausted. Funny thing though, everything feels great in the morning.

We are camped tonight with Ladyfish and Ray. They didn't know each other before the trail, but seem to hike at about the same rate.

We came down to a road at Stecoah Gap this afternoon, and a former thru-hiker named Quest ('04) was there at a picnic table with Cokes and lots of snack cakes. I was SO happy to see a Coke! He brings trail magic to the same place every other day. Nice guy, retired, and he and his wife just finished building a home near here. Well, I can hear others snoring, so I'll say an exhausted goodnight for now, and close with some pics from today.

(Camped at Cody Gap, mile 155.9)
- Steady and F100

Location:Cody Gap

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