Monday, October 15, 2012

Thank you and Congratulations Hill Hiker - Class of 2012 Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker

     If for some chance you followed my blog and videos through my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike attempt you may have seen a few shots of the man above.
     I first met this gentleman hiking slowly up one of the many mountains in the Smokey's just past NewFound Gap.  I remember the day I first caught him on the trail, said a friendly hello to one another and then I speed off up the trail.  That evening after setting up my tent at the shelter, doing my chores and finally sitting down to eat Hill Hiker crept into camp and sat down next to me for his dinner.  Little did I know this little chat would be just the beginning of our several hundred mile trek together.
     Recently I received a package from Hill Hiker with several pictures a short letter and a little rubber duck that I remember seeing at one of the hotels we stayed at in Roanoke, VA.
     The Letter reads:

My name is S.H.. An old man named HillHiker rescued me in Roanoke,VA.  He carried me in his backpack with a pig named Arkie and we became good friends.  HillHiker took Arkie and me out of his pack and took pictures of us from time to time.  We finished our trip in Maine atop Mt. Katahdin.  HillHiker said I should come live with you and I will have a good chance of hiking in your pack!  And HillHiker said you could change my name if you want to....HillHiker said you were a good guy, good friend and that I would enjoy living with you."

     This was by far one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received!!!  The man carried me in spirit the rest of the way after we had to split up!!! I wish I could have been on top of that mountain celebrating with him.

     Here are few of the pics he sent along with the duck:

     So CONGRATULATIONS  Hill Hiker!!!! A GREAT hiking partner and an even BETTER FRIEND!!!!

     Until our next adventure......

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