Stray Observations


I’m perfecting my “Look how beautiful it is” gaze for when I stop to catch my breath and let someone pass. They think I’m being all contemplative and stuff, really I’m just trying not to die.

I am becoming an expert at snot rockets.


Wednesday was the first night I had to break out my long underwear, which is so tight it makes my leg hairs burn. I’d post a picture, but I don’t want to tempt the ladies.


I’ve been thinking about Bill Murray in What About Bob a lot. “Baby steps up the hill…baby steps to the next rock…baby steps to the creek.”


My first experience with trail magic (which is when strangers offer some unexpected generosity or support, usually food, for hikers) was on Monday (I think) at Woody Gap. A guy named Fresh Ground sets up the “Leapfrog Cafe” at a trail crossing for about 10 days at a time with food, snacks, drinks and kindness. I sat in the grass for a couple hours listening to him talk with people. To one lady who was thinking about getting off the trail: “I don’t know if it’s God, nature, friends or yourself, but something will get you through to the end if you keep pushing.” He’ll be setting up in North Carolina soon for another stretch, so hopefully I’ll see him again.


My thanks to Ken, “Sugarfoot,” for recommending Clotrimazole cream before I left. The chafing demon reared its head for a couple days, but it’s been surprisingly manageable since then. I’ll probably keep some of that stuff handy for the rest of my life.


You know those commercials where Betty White or someone is trying to play football, then she eats a Snickers and suddenly she’s an athletic young man? That’s me. I’ve never even cared much for Snickers, but it’s like a miracle food if there’s a hard section coming late in the day.


Apparently my trail name is going to be Listener. A couple different people suggested it by about the third day, I guess because I’m quiet and sometimes I jump into conversations when no one thinks I’m listening. I like it, and I’ve decided to go with it…seems like a good reminder to slow down and take everything in.

Okay, I think that’s all for now. See you after the next round.

6 thoughts on “Stray Observations

  1. Listener is a perfect name for you! An indication of intelligence! When we were all together I noticed how you listened to what others said and added to the conversation if you thought it was useful! You are a great guy!

  2. Sounds like you’re having an awesome time! Enjoy every minute of your adventure. Trying not to die at the top of hills is one of the best parts of hiking (I don’t like to brag, but I’m 100% so far at not dying)..

  3. Reading your posts make me smile Beau — and even chuckle out loud (and I’m not that easily won over). Thank you for posting and allowing us to join you on your journey.

  4. Snickers were Dad’s favored power bar as well. On an all day fishing trip, if the bite was slow he could be quite grumpy by mid afternoon – but once he ate his snickers it was like a brand new day!

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