Monday, April 27, 2015

Prayer Coins and I ate it up yum

Several people said sunlight was in all three pics but I can assure you there was very little sunlight this day.
My plan to dry my stuff out from the day/night before backfired as behind me is a window facing the one you see and between and thru came a constant mist. You must be able to expand the pic but the coins are on the sil. That shelter is on top of Blood Mountain. I found its story interesting.
No one stayed in it while I found a great lil nook for my tent.
While my feeble attempt to dry my gear failed a young Charlie from England stopped in to say cheerio and offer me some jelly beans. Bloody nice chap. I declined and ten minutes later he said his stomach was upset from the sugar and marched off. 
So back to the coins:
I've been depositing them in hopes they might encourage folks along the way. They're light and all wood no ink so I don't think I'm in serious violation of the leave no trace rule. Especially finding everything from Bibles to small spent beer kegs to needle casings at shelters.
You see the scripture on one side, the other is the church website. Now that it looks like this hike may be a going concern, my knees are holding up fine and body is adjusting, I will draw up a description for the website. If someone enters and sees the coin they will have the opportunity to join a Bible study either on line or by mail. Sister Pat T will take care of those choosing mail using the World Bible School curriculum she has been administering to thousands over the past 15 yrs. Pretty cool huh?
The ziti n sauce; picked up every last piece and dogged it yo!
Literally crossed paths with this lil bad boy on day 3. I waited till now cuz I didn't want to freak the kin. Yes Steve its a moving stick. Otherwise known as a Black Rat Snake. Factoid #1 (sorry I won't use that hackneyed term again). This snake is very common in Georgia. It's a non venomous constrictor. So if I got too close he might have bent his fangs on my leg and tried to make my toes numb. Farmers love them. He came up to and crossed the trail before the phone booted up for a video n pic. On the trail he stopped, raised his head, smiled and said "yall ssssssseen a mousssse rollin up in here ssssssir, I sssssure issss hungry and sssssssware I sssssmell one"  then just as politely he moved along.
Speaking of kin, you may have noticed another reason for the blog so far; posterity. (Look it up Jeff it has nothing to do w Andreas lower back.) So anyway from time to time I will share a personal story that someday might entertain my grandkids. I will allow you to read it or skip it. 
Anyway, the hick, the chainsaw and the toilet paper.
The family sells the mobile home after 6 yrs (25x10.5 w addition) making just enough for down payment on a 3 acre wooded lot to build log home in boonies. Yours truly has Husqvarna model 51 chain saw w 18 inch bar. The family drops me off to run errands planning to return in a couple hours. A half hour in Im limbing and trimming downed trees. Bamb, really just felt it bang off my knee not thinking much of it. Few minutes later I feel warmth running down my leg, look down and yeah...gash in pants gash in knee. I had at times been camping at the lot and no there was no first aid kit. Buuuut I did have a roll of toilet paper. Couple hours later my wife at the time is trying not to admit she knows me as the ER Dr starts asking his questions while unrolling half a roll from my leg.
What about the uglier scar above it? No lie, several years later, within inches of the same spot of land doing the same exact thing, bam! Only this time yours truly by this time was enrolled in? That's right a high deductible health plan. Hence no stitches no ER no Dr questions just ugly (or beautiful) scar. It got infected. Thanks to copious amounts of hydrogen peroxide, TLC from a dear friend and my introduction to (cloudy) Apple cider vinegar, a very old Indian cure all, no more blood infection.
If you mouth the words "I trust you" while anxiously trying to make things go your way, your words ring hollow.
Nite nite

Friday, April 24, 2015


I asked a couple questions the other day but didn't get answers. I'm guessing some of you, and you know who you are, are like timid little baby bunny rabbits. Peaking out the lil warren baby bunny hole but too timid to respond on this somewhat public forum not knowing each other very well. Awwww po wittoo tings. Ur trail name is Timid. That or like many others, you haven't yet figured out how.
Well, I did not take advantage of the pizza & beer delivery at the trail rest area, and I passed on the free beer brought into the hostel! Let's give a couple minutes for those who fainted to revive....
I told myself when leaving home, no beer or cigar till crossing a border. And I waited a couple days till reaching Franklin. Heard about Mulligans the day before, chowed down on what had to be the largest bacon cheeseburger w lettuce, tomato & onions I've ever seen let alone eaten (the two handed kind u can't put down even while the juice runs down ur wrists), 3 beers then dessert 
A gift from my lake buddy Todd Spooner. 
A sign of a good gar is the length of the ash. Btw Todd n Liz are known for being the most comfy sleepers at the lake.
I think I got the black toe pop!
If the Ford Modelling Agency should finally return my call please let them know my feet are temporarily out of commission. For decades now people have admired my model feet. Anyway I call this pose the Highlander. 
Since ur already peakin in my tent, Ya nasty, notice my internal tent clothesline utilizing a trek pole & small bungee. Sheer genius I know.
While ur still in my tent, u nosey thing. This is how I sleep:
All the good Christians just covered their mouths in horror and disgust.
Speaking of good Christians I'm hearing from many that which I've known and is evidenced daily. Prayers. I have had so many experiences already that the heathen/pagans would call luck, chance, coincidence etc, I chose providence about 27 yrs ago. Things that defy chance that are treasured and hardly justified by explanation. thank you.
I had a lil accident the other day:
Whatya think Jimmy did?
While in Franklin I received my first re supply from my sunshine, Marissa. I bought her a Binford k1000 Excalibur dehydrator several months ago and she's been preppin ever since. Pepe/D.O.D. (cook in the Navy later opened his own restaurant) would be very proud of you darlin. The most important ingredient is contained in every meal. That supply should last 8-10-12 days.
Keep your eyes and ears fully open as you journey. Nite nite 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What a differnce a day makes

What a difference a day makes
Somebody should write a song about that.
Just 24 lil hours and it went from torrential downpours climbing the 5,000ft Standing Indian Mtn to 60 and Sunny the next.
Couple things leftover from Georgia:
Apparently one thing Georgia is known for is red clay. I don't know bout u but that looks more like orange but perhaps that's one too many syllables, jk Georgia u know I luv Ya. Although the way they say rayyed sounds like 2 syllables, anyway.
It's no wonder Florida won out on being called the Sunshine State as it rained 15 out of the last 10 days in Georgia. How 15 out of 10 you say? Cuz it rained enough for 2 days 3 times. Above is one of a bazillion mud slides along the trail. Ain't seen no Georgia Peaches neither.
Nature's Springing!
Above in this pic is the most common plant along the trail. It's name is purpolous e greenous mottilous leafus.
Below it is not what you think. It's a mushroom. It's called fungus dungus. I'm sure my friend and neighbor Ivy who taught Louis n Clark, Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett could tell you the non Latin common name. She sent me along with a large supply of Chaga mushroom for making tea. Ask Prof Google about Chaga. She learned from her D.O.D.. 
Fun Fact #1 (don't worry I won't use that trite cliche ever again) If harvested from any other tree besides the Birch, the famous Indian Chaga is poisonous. That wud make for a great headstone huh? Here lies Jim Buker, Poisoned by Ivy.
Remember I told u about Kevin getting bit by a rodent in the shelter?
That's him now. I don't know him well enough to suggest seeing a Dr as his appearance seems to be changing. Ya never know, he could become Ratman! Look what happened to Peter Parker & Dr. Banner right? Could happen. Kevin's trail name is Thunder. Strange Cuz he is very quiet and unassuming. I gues I'd rather not see nor smell how he got the name.
Have you ever played those mystery search & find games on ur smartphone? I used to. No time for even trivia crack these days. Anywho, there's one thing in common with the next three  pics. Not easy.
Find em?
In closing: I can feel my belly button inching toward my spine. I fear at this rate by mid June they will be touching....
I can't believe u just thought of an Ethiopian child, that's terrible, stop already, you should be ashamed! I don't even think that's legal today (1984).
"Let my light shine in you, don't dim it with worries and fears" Good stuff.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In two places at one time!

Just how can a person be in two different  at one time?
My left foot, left leg, left knee, left arm, and left hand, left trek pole, left cheek and a third ( I have almost no butt, another inheritance from D.O.D. In fact I should probly use a donut), left ear, left eye and left nostril (did u seriously read all those lefts)!!!??
Are in Georgia! And my right foot, right ankle, right patella, right thigh and right hip, my right thumb and right elbow are in????? North Carolina baby! 
Now one would reasonably think, hmmmm north of Georgia wouldn't that be South Carolina?
Well the story has it thisaway; back in the early and mid 30's as the AT was a bein blazed. South Carolina was approached to help build it and be a part of one of America's truly great national treasures. Well it goes like this, it's at that time when that most endearing and enduring phrase very commonly used right up until this day was actually coined. "Say whaaaat, shoooot ain't nobody got time fa dat!" And so, low and behold the trail skips right past SC.
Now check this out yall:
This card was posted several times at a rest stop ON THE TRAIL! Pizza and Beer delivered! Whatayall think ole Jimmy did?
I ain't tellin no lie, I'm sittin in a common area at the famous Neels Gap Hostel the other night. There's about 6 or 8 of us sittin around watchin Gremlins and another 8 or so in the adjoining bunk room. First of all, with a name like Hostel I thought for sure it would be a mean ole nasty place with a lot of angry people but actually everyone was genuinely quite friendly. And then people, there's a knock on the door and a guy peeks in and says, "hey y'all I'm havin some trouble finishing off this here 30 pack of Coors Light, yall think Ya might help a guy out?" He is what's commonly referred to as a Trail Angel". Now whatayall think ole Jimmy did as the man plunked the beer down 2 feet from me?
Critters: I've seen a bunch but this little guy is definitely the most common or since he has at least 98 advantages over me and no pack on his back he may be just catching up to me every night when I'm sleepin. I've seen him every day since Springer Mtn. Anyway I call him a Pugapeed. Cuz just like the dog, unless he's movin forward one really can't tell which is the front or back end.
This is my last 1 for today. Marissa, I'm down to my second to last beef jerky, yummy yum yum. I especially like when there's a piece of gristle. It's like the longest lasting chewing gum u can ask for. U can also like nestle it on down between ur cheek n gum and then like an hour later bring it on back up n it's like fresh as a daisy!
Read ur devo people it's a goodn.
Thanks again for all the positive feed back, I'm getting texts and emails. It's very encouraging. Muah luv luv luv ni ni

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Everybody gets a trail name sooner or later.

First, if u want to subscribe and I want u to subscribe even if all u say is "I hate u Jim cuz I'm stuck in here n ur out there hikin in the fresh air, meetin people, makin new friends, gettin stronger, gettin skinnier, lookin healthier, eatin right..." If ur on a smartphone scroll down to "View Web Version" go to Home Page, see subscribe button, click it and choose ur option.
Now I've met a Flatfoot, Inspiration, Maple, Warhorse, Dodge, Artful Dodger, Mantis and several others. Amblin, Mosey, Sparky, Hockey Snot (I can hit the beer in ur red solo cup from about 5 ft), Pokey are current options. You're welcome to chime in.
The food Marissa's making me is turning heads. I tend to eat at the shelters and nosey neighbors R always checking. Speaking of shelters I said the other day they're  not for me, to sleep in. Sure enough last night, Kevin got bit on his shoulder blade rolling over on a mouse!
That's not my liver or my lung. 
Check this out, expand the pic and see the hundreds of pairs of shoes and boots hanging off the tree at Neels Gap. Peeps be sending them back when they finish or hanging them as they buy trade ins. Kinda spokky lookin huh?
Check this out. I just picked a totally random place to sit and rest coming down a steep hill. After like 10 minutes I'm lookin at this rock and like whoa! Show the kiddies yo! If u look real close down on the lower left its even gotta smile yo!
I'm making good progress and likely going to reach the 15mile daily avge sooner than I expected.
Lots of time to think and pray. I've got a pretty good daily list I pray for so if you b needin some let me know.
Ty for commenting. Ni ni

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hmmm Seems like a nice guy...

Day 6 all is going so far so good as my body starts adjusting to the brutal assault of hiking up and down mountains all day. Ya know one could go to Maine n back in 6 mo's if they had zip lines on the down hills.
That's a shelter, look thru n u can see my tent. Jimmy loves his tent. Jimmy doesn't care for the shelter, too crowded, noisy and any person, ant, mouse, mosquito, tick, flea, snake or yet another smelly hiker can waltz in at any minute.
Now here's where I make all the ladies jealous.
There's several things to point out here. #1 I do not shave my legs I don't have to and there's a reason. #2 I'm pointing to the sorest part of my leg aside from the top of my calf. The slightest pin prick yea even so much as a mosquito bite and it would POP. From it would ooze 3 cups of lactic acid. Ewwwwwww That which makes muscles sore and can only be dissipated with fluid, stretching and sprinting. The latter is out. As far as fluid my pee has gone from Orange juice to Mountain Dew to weak lemonade to finally clear today. I always forget to stretch and am reminded each morning as it takes no small amount of effort to stand upright. #3 which gets back to #1. You may not be able to see them well but there are two distinct chainsaw scars on that knee. (redneck chainsaw toilet paper story for another day) anyway the chain saw bounced off my knee, proving point #1 hair doth not growth on steel. Ergo no hair on leg.
So this guy comes up with his two teenage daughters and a teenage boy. He is likin my tent, likin my solar charger and definitely likin my water filter. Hmmm seems like a nice guy.....then says "oh man I could NEVER thru hike the trail I'm way too old now." "Really" I said, "just how old are you?" He smiles and says "I'm 52". I don't think what he saw cross my face was that bright and shiny Jesus look.
You'd think the hardest part was placing the rock. No, I had the hardest time getting it between the trees on the left.
So I know some are enjoying the devos I will catch u up soon they've been scary appropriate for me but it's dark now and the pics won't work. Tonight I'm at Sheep Rock Top 42 miles from Springer.
Finally, I used three movie/sitcom quotes did you spot them?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

USRH #1 and being sprayed by a skunk!

I was running a day late and shuttle guy Sam Duke didn't get me close till 1030...I chose the 1 mile backtrack to Springer vs  the 8 mile approach.
That was about the only clear blue during 1st 2 days. I've reached my goal on each but already see why sundown is hikers midnight. It's now 2am on night 2, I just woke up since crashing at about 8.
Last night was trippy. There are shelters that hold about 8-12 the 1st two I've seen have a loft oin the 3 sided off the ground structure. These areas are where most congregate for the night. Most in tents. All guys in the shelter snoring, talking, farting, snoring and this am smoking the Ganga together as they bond. 
So anyway I walk in last night literally the last of about 70 peeps lfeelin like the baby rhino in Jumangi.
I picked a decent spot for tent and got busy. There wasn't enough water to cook so I ate a granola bar and settled in. Started out with earplugs cuz of all the noise. Couldn't sleep from soreness, hunger and no bed. Watched some Superman, Man of Steel, back to earplugs and rollin around. The plugs went in and came out several times after learning I had parked my tent smack dab in the middle of USRH 1. Rodent Highway 1. They were streaming around my tent all night. I kept thinking of the 20 something kid about 50 ft away who just had a fly for a tent, no walls! Yikes! 
Rolling around, tossing n yea yea at around 2am I pull the plugs thinking I heard something substantial outside the tent. As I sit up suddenly I hear a loud hissing spraying sound like a 1960s aerosol hair spray can that my sisters used to blow up our furnace growing up  (see A Cjristmas Story, that's my dear ole dad).
Anyway, I freak and grab my sleeping bag to cover my face and brace for the stench of a skunk! Only to learn, somehow the twist valve cap of my inflated sleeping pad had opened spewing my mattress air. Not a wink for another hour,
Then come the winds then the rain. I finally fell asleep and awoke at 840 dull.  Pouring. All but 3 people in shelter, gone. Food bag on the ground. It's waterproof.
I put my rain gear on, grabbed bag, made coffee and slowly started packing inside tent. As I was about done, the rain stopped for about 45 just long enough to pack tent and cover pack. 8 miles later here I am. Gotta head back to lala land now. Oh and I was almost last to shelter tonight but like the chance to pick a spot slightly removed. Coyotes off in distance, no worries, no USRH1, no rain.
This was the devo I started day 2 with and without knowing grabbed the pic as you see it, before reading. If able read to the last line of the devo 

In case it doesn't expand or your like Lauren and just read the line above the page number... It reads "Hold my hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step." Too much. It's 3:02. Ni ni
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