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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.   :)