A man strides up one morning near a shelter, he's heading south and asks, "have you seen Ghost?" I said "yes he left here about an hour ago." "Do you know who he is?" The stranger adds. This is that stranger:
Who I later learn is the AT celebrity Warren Doyle. Trail name, this year, 34,000 as he has completed the trail 17 times! He has a gig that goes like this: he trains up to about a dozen people per year. The group has two vehicles including a supply van. He and one other drive the 12 or so about 15 miles south leaving behind a vehicle which Warren and one other go back for on foot. All are "slack packing", most are 60+, all reach Maine in 140 days.
No it's not Jason Robards, though when I said he could be his stunt double he admitted coming face to face with Jason once in a small diner in Manchester NH.
Hold on, the world is about to get smaller. It's been a couple weeks now and unfortunately I don't have his pic but here is some evidence I did come across:
Trail Magic by "Scribes" parents.
Not much REAL watermelon left. Real becuz it has seeds. Not only can I hit ur red solo cup at 5 ft (see earlier post) but I can stick a watermelon seed to ur cheek from 6 ft and u may not even know from whence it came! Anywho, back to Scribe. He had been hiking with Star and Bookie:
Star's trail name is No Shame as she begs from everyone. Bookie sports the same back pack as yours truly and being an 8 yr veteran of outdoor youth adventure coordinating totally restructured and re strapped my pack. Scribe at this point was hiking with his dad but not before telling me where he is from. After learning part of the reason for the trail name Sparky he admits being an EMT for 12 yrs. I met him shortly after Mother's Day when he asked where in MD she lives. Well, well, well doesn't Scribe live in Thurmont? Why yes he does! And does he not know the tiny little road of Reed? Why yes he does! To all of you who say you may not really care, my mom has a message just for you from my sis, bro in law, niece and her and unlike those she saved just for her Lenny, this message is suitable for the family channel:
No one in this family survives without a real good sense of humor.
But wait, before the world is made even teeny tinyer itsy bitsy smaller, a quick but worth your while diversion. Several friends and family members have been talking and planning to come out and join me for a time which is an awesome thing. All on the other hand are voicing the same concern about slowing me down etc. which is nonsense. While some out here are definitely trying to go as fast as they can, I gave myself 6 months and remain on target to both reach the goal as well as savor the experience. So to all of you with such concern, please, let Sparky calm your anxiety: think of an old, classical, orchestra tune which will most closely resemble the pace we will enjoy:
Now if u took the time to YouTube or whatever that song, you're still laughing. If not, there's an angst in ur heart that will nag at you till you do. We will wait for you here while enjoying a pictorial interlude;
Not all "prepared" foods are equal;
Okay, all back on the same page?
Let's see how much smaller this world can get. Trent's grocery, middle of no where. Sitting outside getting ready to get back on trail. Young hiker walks up, tells of travails having fallen into the river with pack and phone at Dismal "Falls". Says his trail name is Dapper Dan. To which my immediate response is: "I don't want any damn Fop, I'm a dapper dan man!" This grabs his attention so I add: "watch the language young man". Lines from a classic movie based on a classic book and no I shall not give you all the answers. We strike a cord to which he asks where I'm from. "Western Mass" I said. "Oh really", he perks up "near Springfield?" "Yes, as a netter of fact" I responded. He says, "I'm actually from West Springfield." "No way," I countered, "that's where I grew up". He says: "you know rte 20?" "Heck yeah, I lived 23 years on Poplar Ave." I exclaimed.
"Wow" he says, "I live on Pilgrim Ave"
In closing, in light of recent events, my reading and listening have led to Isaiha and Romans Chapter 1. Apparently what some consider a fairy tale and/or out of date. My Audio Audible currently is Foxes Book of Martyrs, a book once chained to the pew next to the Bible in England. Not for the faint of heart.