Harpers Ferry, WV, May 26, 2015 –There I was doing my best Captain Kirk impression as I sat in the command chair behind the counter of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) visitors center when the door opens and I hear a cheery, “Hi Sisu!” (Sisu is my trail name.)
To my delight, in walks Emily Leonard. At least that’s who she was when I camped next to her and her husband on Springer Mountain, GA in early March. Now she is “Black Bear,” an awesome thru hiker who remembered me promising that I would take her ‘half-way photo’ if she reached ATC HQ on a Tuesday, my volunteer day. Well, she did and there I was wearing a giant smile in salute to her presence and accomplishment.
Emily is a former teacher and soccer coach who lives in Maine. She sounded and looked strong. After the formalities, I treated her to a healthy, read leafy green-colored, lunch at a quirky local restaurant. Our conversation quickly established that she’s having a wonderful time walking in the woods. You can follow her blog at: http://happyhiking.bangordailynews.com/category/home/ I really hope that Black Bear goes — ALL THE WAY!
By way of additional insight, I wrote about Emily anonymously in one of my blogs from Georgia. She was a hiker with the ultra light Cuban fiber tent pitched with so much slack that I worried might blow away in a strong wind. After staying the first night, her husband returned home to Maine and work while Emily hiked on. That wasn’t the first time I learned to never judge a pack by its cover.
Of note: It turns out she ditched that tent for a range of reasons and is using the one her husband had. So much for hi tech.
Separately, a hiker named “Bonafide” aka “Winter Walker” phoned me from Bears Den hostel last night. I first met him in Tennessee in December 2013 during my thru hike. That year his doctor told him to lose some weight, so he walked from his home state of Vermont to Tennessee and back to Harpers Ferry. This year he decided to thru hike and I met him plowing through the north Georgia snow back in February.
His call was to check in being that he was nearby. When I mentioned that the movie, “A Walk in the Woods” would be out in September, he unleashed a tirade about hikers who mess up the woods and don’t follow Leave No Trace principles. It was instructive to say the least. It seems like time and distance don’t weed out all the bad apples.
The “Walk in the Woods” trigger was this: The Bill Bryson book features many scenes like the ones I reported from Georgia with people tossing trash and worse all over the trail.
He asked me what I thought the answer might be. My response was one word: Babysitters. That’s what you get when you act like a child.
Here’s the trailer for “A Walk in the Woods:” It promises to be a fun movie.
14 thoughts on “Reunions”
Jim: I hope there is some way you can promote your blog so that it’s a best seller (reader) when the movie comes out . . . . . ??
I finished a book outline over the winter. All I really have to do is glue my butt to a chair and write.
I like to read your reports. Somehow our journeys are similar. Keep it up!
It must be fun to have contact with those special people. I followed the link to her blog. You might want to check the url for the destination. I got a 404 error. Clicked on Home and it was ok. Not sure what is going on.
Sounds like a browser issue. Not all sites a good at browser optimization.
Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all did it. I copied the link and got this http://happyhiking.bangordailynews.com/%C2%A0
Try removing the %C2%A0
I’ve tried to reset it twice and get the 404 message when I click on the link in my blog. If I cut and paste the same link from my blog, it goes straight to Emily’s blog in the Bangor paper. Go figure.
It might work by clearing your cache and browsing history. Otherwise, it isn’t a big issue. It does get to the blog, just not the specific page in the url.
I wrote it on my phone app. :-(. My browser automatically clears its cache every 24 hours or each time I shut down.
Which book are you writing? One about your thru hike or the other one that was discussed? My sister had an idea for the motive……can’t wait for either one to come out!!
It’s how to hike the AT after 50
That will be a useful book for those that are …..wait….AAACCCK!!! I’m over 50…I need a copy!!!!!
I never woulda thunk it. 🙂
You don’t have to butter me up….I’ll by a copy…..