Let's break the cycle, shall we?

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Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Travisimon » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:20 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting Garmachi on the trail last weekend and I had a blast. We made some semi-last minute plans and I met him just outside of Damascus VA. It was a long day at work last Thursday and when I got off of work, I left for Tennessee. I met Gary and his merry band of vagabonds where the trail crossed the top of Holston mountain. While I was driving, I received a text from Voldamort asking to bring snacks. I asked "For who?" She answered "He says candy and snacks for everyone. Sooo anything really. Hikers aren't very picky." I thought "Damnit, I'm running late as it is." I ended up buying four different types of potato chip bags and four king sized candy bars, all different types. Somehow I remembered from reading Gary's posts that he had four trail family members hiking with him at the time. After I procured the life bringing snacks for these derelicts I proceded to Holston mountain. The straight highways turned into Blue Ridge Parkway-esque winding inclines. It was pretty, but I was wondering if I had missed a turn. Finally, I saw a sign that said "Appalachian Trail," and there were a couple of dudes hanging out by the road with packs. This is it! I pulled over and said hello. Quickly, I found out that I wasn't there yet, but I was close. One of the guys asked me to take him where I was going, so I obliged. Five minutes later, I made it to the top of Holston mountain and there was Gary with his friends. I opened the truck door and dropped two grocery bags full of snacks, proclaiming "Death match!"
Unfortunately, there was no bloodshed, but everyone was very happy. After the stinky through-hikers had their feast, it was time to hit the trail. In less than five miles we were at Abington shelter. At the shelter I met Fiddlin' Jim, a very nice retiree from Wisconsin. I also met his son and a former medic from the Israeli army named Lemmy. Within minutes I knew that I really liked all of these people and it doesn't surprise me. After hiking for a full month on the AT, it seems as if people start to really lean on each other. More than once, someone told me that if it wasn't for all of their friends, they wouldn't have made it thus far. We woke up on Friday morning and I was the first one packed. I was fresh, of course, and I think I might have sensed a little resentment. Voldamort was the last one ready and after she complained for a while about stepping in someone's shit, we were on our way. I noticed the smell of these guys when I first showed up, but I was stinky from the farm where I work and wasn't going to say anything. I really didn't notice the stench until the we left that day and I was in the back of the line. The combo of these guys was horrendous, but I got over it quick. An hour or so into hiking we came upon a rain that Gary described as "The second hardest rain in a month." In fifteen minutes we were soaked to our underwear, but the power of determination kept us aloft. Nobody said anything. Everyone put their head down. Miles were made. Finally, the rain stopped and we crossed the Tenn/VA line. Everyone took pictures and we moved along. After ten miles, we made it to Damascus. We had breakfast and made our way to a hostile named "Crazy Larry's." I remember at one point, after talking to Larry, whispering to Gary " This guy is volatile." And he was. He was a crazy. That was OK. These guys needed a shower and I needed to relax. We did just that and it was wonderful. I played Magic The Gathering with Lemmy, the Israeli guy. I watched skinny people eat more than the fattest people I've met. I listened to Crazy Larry's rantings and ravings, but most of all, I got to hang out with my friend Gary before he was off on the trail to Maine. I probably won't be able to meet everyone on the trail again, but I truly hope that I can keep in touch with all of them some how. I feel like I've known them all, all of my life. I don't know if it's because they were all deprived of varied human contact, or if Gary picked a group of friends that melded with his personality, or if they were just all very cool people. I will tell you this, though. Fifty percent of me wanted to drop everything that I'm doing and join the trek. The other half wanted go home to my wife, dogs, bed, all the food I can eat, and a shower.
This is all a stream of consciousness post. I'm not going to edit it. I just wanted you guys to know that I had a great time with our friend.
I'm tired of these motherf*&%ing Primordial Hydras on this motherf*%$ing plane!
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Travisimon » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:33 pm

OK. I did some editing and it's still bad.
I'm tired of these motherf*&%ing Primordial Hydras on this motherf*%$ing plane!
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby turtle81 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:35 pm

Great post, Travis! Thanks for the trip report. It's really cool to have even the smallest taste of life on the trail. Almost makes me want to do it, too. And then he tells me about losing more toenails...and then there's the pack out in the garage that smells so bad after one month that I may have to just burn it. It's a special kind of stank, ain't it?!?! :smt078
"To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be left." - Mr. Bennett
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Travisimon » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:42 pm

I forgot to mention that the wonderful Turtle also came to visit! You still have that vile smelling pack? I thought he was going to burn it. That thing needs to be dropped in a high-concentrated Oxyclean/Acid bath.
I'm tired of these motherf*&%ing Primordial Hydras on this motherf*%$ing plane!
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby turtle81 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:49 pm

I'm tackling it inside and out with the hose, Woolite and a scrub brush this weekend. Gary will grow back into it and nothing else is wrong with it so I'll try to save the poor thing.
"To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be left." - Mr. Bennett
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Magnum » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:30 pm

Are we breaking the "nobody's posting" cycle? Thank goodness....and Travis.

I finally finished packing up my classroom today. Next year will be my last year so I took extra time to throw out and organize shelves. I can't remember being this late packing up. Got all finished except for the little kid couch I have in my room. Moved it and those little kids had a treasure trove under there! Should have looked before they all left for the summer. No wonder they spent so much time in that corner.

Hey, Travis. If you hiked with the crew how did you get back to your entry point? Turned around and walked back alone is my guess. How far did you go?
Nothing wrong with a straight line....
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Travisimon » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:17 am

Actually, our beloved Turtle gave me a ride back to my truck and I turned right around and spent another night in the hostel with the gang.
I'm tired of these motherf*&%ing Primordial Hydras on this motherf*%$ing plane!
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby turtle81 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:02 am

The drive in that area was very pretty. We got to drive through this, Backbone Rock:

Image
"To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be left." - Mr. Bennett
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Magnum » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:57 am

That is a massive thing. I'll bet that has been photographed a million times.

There is a kids' book that has a family taking a walk and on every page it says "Can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it. Gotta go through it!" I instantly thought of that when I saw it. That would be a 'dirty job'! One wrong blast and there'd go the passageway. :bom:
Nothing wrong with a straight line....
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Travisimon » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:05 pm

It looks like you guys stopped to take that picture. I stopped to inspect a trout stream. :-D
I'm tired of these motherf*&%ing Primordial Hydras on this motherf*%$ing plane!
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby turtle81 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:59 pm

The directions said never to put the pack in a washing machine. Too bad! Though I had to wash the top half and then the bottom half with the top open. Woolite didn't even begin to touch the stank. Next up: a gigantic capful of Tide Sport with Febreze and a couple hour soak...

Image

Forgot to share this pic of Travis and Gary:

Image
"To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be left." - Mr. Bennett
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Travisimon » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:16 pm

I've been waiting for that picture. Thank you.
I'm tired of these motherf*&%ing Primordial Hydras on this motherf*%$ing plane!
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Dvonneh » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:25 am

Haven't been on here in quite awhile, so happy I visited today loved your post Travis! The pic of you & Gary is great it's going in my favorite pics. Magnum sounds like you are on your own adventure getting closer to the place you want to be. Kudos to you Katie for being a trail boss and keeping those guys on the trail.
My mind is mine.
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby turtle81 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:48 am

I can't remember if I've linked it here before or not, but I'm dumping all of Gary's photos from the trail here. They'll be added every few weeks as he sends me memory cards from his camera.


Also, Tide needs to contact me to do a commercial and give me a life-long supply of the stuff. It friggin' worked!

Cleaning products that are not gimmicks and are worth every penny:
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Tide Sport with Febreze
"To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be left." - Mr. Bennett
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Re: Let's break the cycle, shall we?

Postby Magnum » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:22 am

I could see you in a Tide commercial. Hopefully you had some sun to dry it. I have never used Tide let alone a sport version. Is that heavy duty because of the stench sports can create in clothes?
Nothing wrong with a straight line....
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