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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Happy Trail Days to You!"

Kristin has made excellent timing and is in Virginia now.  However, Virginia is very long, at least at the angle the Trail goes.

She stopped in Damascus on the 19th for Trail Days and spent a couple nights in Tent City.  She met up with "Grandpa" (not hers, but an older man who hikes under that name and who she hiked with last summer)  She also caught up with Giggles, the younger man whose photo is on the blog.  She also hiked with him for a bit last year.  She had met them both while out on the trail last year and has kept in contact with them. 

She had a great time seeing everyone again.  She mentioned about a dozen others, but I remembered those two in particular.  She's still with Quiver/Fanny Pack.  I guess he ties his gear around him, so that early in the week when he is stocked full, he carries his gear like a quiver, but as his food supply dwindles, it becomes more like a fanny pack!

Many friends and family have been sending her cards and treats.  She really appreciates that....thank you all.

She recently sent home her hat, thick socks, and extra pair of long I'm assuming the weather is warming up!  :)   She still has no blisters and hasn't had one yet.  I'd say that calls for a footware endorsement!!   :)

She's asking for not as many warm breakfasts to be sent by us.  So now,  I'm sending tortillas with PB & J squeeze packets for sandwiches.  The folks at the P.O. are really getting to know the stops along the trail, too!  They laugh everytime they ask, "anything liquid, fragile, or perishable".  I have to explain, dehydrated, not perishable.....but crucial that it gets there!  :)  

That's all.  I hope she posts photos soon.....she says she has taken hundreds!  :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"and on the 7th day"..........She rested!

Well, Kristin's continued to check in with us, although it's been a bit more sporatic. Reception has been awful, but that can't last forever!  She said she hiked between Little Hump and Big Hump 2 days ago......yeah, that's how I felt......tells us a lot, doesn't it?  She said on the leeward side of Big Hump the wind was 40 mph.  When they reached the top, they were almost blown off; they had a very difficult time traversing the mountain!  She said she'd never felt wind that fierce.

She had begun to get ahead of schedule even with leaving the trail for Kelly's graduation, so she' taking a "zero" day today and enjoying Hampton and talking with other hikers and town residents.

She has caught up with Fanny Pack; they met up again when she was leaving Erwin.  She was happy about that and I feel more at ease when we don't hear from her. 

She's recently received other boxes and cards from family and friends.  I know she's very excited about means a lot to her.  So thank you all....
 I've been so busy making food and mailing boxes that I haven't bothered to send well-wishing cards!!
        :(       It's pretty bad that she critiques each box and let's me know if I've faired well!  Ha!   Apparently I hadn't had ANY trail mix in a particular box.....I still haven't lived that one down!   :)     Is that negative reinforcement or positive punishment!  hee, hee!!

Kristin is due in Damascus in 2 days.  But, she'll hang around through the weekend and TRAIL DAYS.  She's very excited about that.  Kelly was going to join her at that point, but as of right now,  I think it'll be a bit later.  She's currently busy with college plans for the fall and current community events.  Plus she took a bad fall off a horse this weekend and the thought of walking while carrying a pack is daunting.  She's still pretty stiff.  So....... David Lawler,  that info is for you......   she still wants you to know she'll accept your challenge WHEN she heads out!   :)    Of course Barb L. knows she can do it!!   :)

Kristin is trying to find ways for Kelly's pack to be light so that when she joins and they continue a strong pace, all will be well.  She came up with the idea that SHE & KELLY can fit into Kristin's single person Eureka!   I about died laughing over that one!  Kelly flounders all night and Kristin doesn't like to be bothered.  Now, put them BOTH in something only 72" x 30"x 22" and see who's alive in the morning!!  :)  I can't think of a worse nightmare!!  Plus, you have to enter the tent from the top!!!  They both cannot enter at the same time, nor can one move aside to let the other one in!!!  I wish I could be there to film it!   :)   That just may be the incentive I need.

I guess that's all for now....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Her pace .........smokin' fast!

Well, we got a call last night from Kristin while we were outside and Kelly was riding Missile.  Of course I put it on speaker so we could both listen!  :)     Poor Missile!  He looked freaked out at the noisy breathing of Kristin talking while she was still walking!!

Apparently she still has NOT caught up with Fanny Pack and has renamed him Gingerbread Man  ("Run, run as fast as you can; you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!")  She did 27.5 miles yesterday and is just an hour or two behind him now.  In all the log books he keeps writing that he misses his hiking partner, but I guess not enough to stop and realize she is behind him!  :)  I think he thought she was joining him further up the trail, not resuming where she'd left off. 

It had been two days since we'd heard from her, but we knew that the reception was poor and hadn't really expected to hear from her until later this week.  The day before, she had hiked Big Bald.  Other hikers were discussing if they wanted to do that one, or hike the blue blazes instead.  Apparently Big Bald is supposed to be bad.  Kristin figured she'd do the white blazes anyhow and take it slower.  Well, she said it wasn't bad, but the fog, driving rain, and freezing temperatures made her feel as though hypothermia wasn't too far out of the question.  She said the view was supposed to be awesome, but she couldn't see a thing because of the fog.  She had hiked with a guy named "Trekking Pol".  There is no 'e' on Pol, because he is Polish, visiting our country just to hike the AT.   :)     Anyhow, she's enjoying his company, too. 

There aren't very many females on the trail.   I guess one of the guys with her told her as far as the girl to guy ratio, " The odds are good, but the 'goods' are odd!"   hee, hee.  I love it!!  I'm pretty sure that it sums it up.  She's not really looking for any 'goods' while on the trail, just an opportunity to have some comraderie!

While she was talking with us last night, she was on the descent heading into Erwin, TN.  There is a hostel there and although she knew it to be already full, they were letting hikers camp in the backyard and still use the showers, mail drop, kitchen, etc.  She sounded so excited to see a town.  She said it actually looked quite large.

She's done 105 miles since I'd dropped her off on Saturday.  She had had (3)  20+ mile days in a row....the last one being almost 30!  She is very thirsty even though she's drinking and her thigh is beginning to constantly aggrevate her.  Hope she'll be better with some electrolytes and rest!  She was taking an easier day today, she thinks.

She called this morning, but we weren't able to talk for long.  She's hoping to call tonight.
Guess that's it for now.  I'm mailing off boxes ahead of schedule because she's cranking out the miles!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gone in a Flash!!

Well, the past few days have been a whirlwind.  Kristin came home for Kelly's graduation.  She was able to take a shuttle from Standing Bear Farm Hostel to Knoxville, TN.  From there she took a Greyhound to Lexington, KY.  We picked her up on Wednesday night from Lexington.

We were pleased to say that she looked GREAT (and didn't smell at all)!!   :)      Of course we took her right away to Mellow Mushroom right near Transylvania/UK campus for her favorite pizza. (They have vegan cheese, so she indulged!)  We got to Cynthiana around 8PM and she began dehydrating food and TALKING!!  We got caught up on all the tales, hikers, hostels, and trails.  She has met some great friends and is happy hiking with them.  They were taking (2) "Zeros" at Hot Springs waiting for her to rejoin them.... that was nice of them.

Thursday, the children who Kelly has been working with at St. Edward's school, performed a song at the National Day of Prayer service at the Methodist Church here in Cynthiana; we all went. That was nice and the children were precious.

That night was Kelly's graduation at LVC campus.  The ceremony was held in the Prizing House---a beautiful facility!  It was so special that Kristin was able to be there for Kelly.  Kelly got some wonderful awards and recognitions!  :)   We are so proud of her.

In the meantime, the dehydrator kept running......and the meals began accumulating on the diningroom table!
There is stew with TVP, soups, mixed vegetables, oatmeal/protein breakfasts, pasta & marinara sauce, beans & rice, Asian medley stirfry, etc.

Friday night was the graduation ceremony at Maysville for all the campuses. Kelly was the student speaker

 Just minutes before the processional was scheduled to begin, the skies turned fierce and dropped rain!!  Thunder and lightning joined in the celebration!!  We all headed inside for Plan C.  Maysville handled the very stressful situation well though; I just wish it could've been outside.  They had done such an awesome job with the staging area.

Saturday morning we took her back to Standing Bear Farm Hostel.  She picked up her mail drop, sorted everything in to her backpack and visited with us for just a few minutes longer and then hit the trail. 
It was so strange to just have her begin walking.....not the same as it was at the trail head in Georgia!!
Well that's all for now.  She made it to Hot Springs on Sunday and sounded pretty tired. 40 miles in two days.  She had had no reception on her phone for both Saturday and Sunday, so the hostel and let her use their phone.  Apparently there isn't reception, even in town!!  She's quite the trooper and was looking around camp last night for Fanny Pack....she thought he was there somewhere.   :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

"The bear went over the see what he could see.....but all that he could see.....was the otherside of the mountain!"

Well, we've had a few turbulent days waiting to hear what's going on with our hiker.  Yes, she'd hurt her leg, but by the next day she had caught up with someone that she is enjoying the company of....."Fanny Pack" is his trail name.  They are hiking together and at about the same pace.  They are enjoying conversation and have a lot in common, so for now.....all is well.

Backpeddling for a moment though, we hadn't heard from her all day Sunday....which when you are expecting to hear, and know that the trails have been slick, that her leg is hurt, that there are bears, and that she is with someone you only know as "Fanny Pack" .....all day was VERY long!   Of course, friends, and grandparents checking in to ask if you've heard, only makes it seem even LONGER!!  This afternoon, the plans for a road trip were beginning to form when I just heard from her (almost 40 hours later!).

She is in Cherokee, NC., and hitched into town with some hikers so that she'd be sure to have reception on her has been recommended to me by TheCrazySheepLady that I buy Kristin a Smartphone.

Kristin was excited but sad to report that she had missed hiking with Missy Bishop and Mark Bell - and a few others from MCTC whose names she didn't recognise -by just a day.  She'd gotten to the shelter on Sunday night to find that they'd been there just a day ahead of her!  She asked that I please post this so that they could see that she'd seen where they'd signed in (Missy and Mark are from the MCTC- Community College, and she'd hiked with them in the Smokeys last fall)!  Sorry you missed each other....would've been fun for everyone!

She's planning to make it to Standing Bear Farm Hostel and catching a ride to the bus depot to head home for Kelly's Graduation.  She'll get in to Lexington and I'll get her from there.  We'll see her for just a few days and then she'll head back out this weekend to resume her footsteps along the trail.

The shelters have been very crowded and she's needed to tent on the perimeter each night.  However, the  weather has been beautiful for a change, and she's enjoyed the clear skies and views. 

Sunday night she had supper early, and then she and Fanny Pack hiked until late in order to make it to the shelter that night.  She said they'd hiked a couple hours in the dark, but no one is allowed to just camp along the trail.

Her food supply is holding and keeping her satisfied; she hungrier now that the mileage is higher each day.  She says the whole time she's hiking she's thinking about either her career path or her next meal!   :) 
Does that surprise us?   hee,hee! 

Kelly was able to borrow a backpack from a friend of Kristin's (trail name Chapstick) so she'll be good to go when she's ready to head out and catch up with her.

Well that's all for now.  We hope to see her later this week.  At that point, she should have a chance to update the Blog herself.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Only whispered her name while passing thru.....

Well, I'm glad to see that Kristin was able to get on this site and post the flicker link for her photos. (I just went to the site to see them.) 

She got to the NOC yesterday and picked up her boxes and cards..... thank you to those who had sent her things.  She was tossed between going out for pizza at the NOC's cafe or eating the boxed food.  Well, even though she was going to get the pizza, she talked with us for too long and the cafe had she enjoyed several things sent to her!  :)

At the NOC, she was given a whole bunk house to herself!!  She said she would've been happy with just a bunk, so she was feeling spoiled.  :)  She seemed to be in good spirits.    She had shared stories of all the days she's been in the rain, 4 different days of hail storms, and terrible winds.  She was hoping the nicer weather would be heading her way soon.  One of the older men who had been hiking with them slipped and fell off the ledge yesterday.  His backpack threw him off balance and he wasn't able to stop the momentum from falling.  It took him over 20 minutes to get back to where he was because he'd fallen so far.  He was pretty banged up.   This doesn't sound good.......   :(


I was just away from my phone for a minute and missed her call.  Apparently the horrific storms that we had all night were what greeted her this morning!  She said it was horrible thunder and lightning.  She thought there was a break in the weather and headed out.  She had been hiking for quite a while when the hail began that were the size of quarters; she is pretty bruised.

I guess it is wet and slick and she also had a spill that re-injured her quad on her right leg and pulled a hamstring on her left.  :(    Her message sounded pretty bummed.

I'll hear from her later and update everyone.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photos on Flickr

A wise man once told me that, even though all we hikers have to do for five months is walk, walking shouldn't be all we do.  "You see," he said, "it's all about balancing the miles with the smiles."

I've been trying to follow his advice, enjoying the sights, making new friends, and checking out the trail towns.  I'm currently at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, North Carolina.  I just uploaded a bunch of photos from my trip thus far, and I would like to share them with you.  Check out my Flickr account:

The computer station is closing soon, so I'll have to get a real update in another day...

Happy trails,
Rainbow Dash