Adventures of a Trail Stooge Excerpt

Here’s a short excerpt from the upcoming Adventures of a Trail Stooge. Look for it July 28th!

My allergies are killing me. They won’t go away. Sleeping is a pain. During the day when I’m hiking it’s not too bad. But night time is not the right time.

Me, Munchies + Tangy all hiked together today. It was only 11 miles, but it felt like 20. My feet were pretty banged up, the blisters popped on the hike. But nothing too terrible. We took a lot of breaks today, too many, which made the day really too long.

I like those dudes, but not sure if I can stick with them, I won’t make Katahdin. Dude named Scott was with us today too, but he came into camp maybe an hour after.

I’m in my tent now and these birds are singing to each other. One sounds like he’s in a  tree right next to me, it’s cool. We’re at Low Gap Shelter tonight. Scott just posted up like 5 feet from my tent. Little weird, but he is.

I’ve been sleeping terribly. Getting into bed at a decent hour, but not really getting to sleep until like 2am. Then I sleep til 7 or whatever. It’s partially allergies and partially tent sleeping. Oh well, hopefully it gets better.

I talked to Mom + D last night. Mom did good. Started to cry just a little bit as we said goodbye. But she was excited for me. I liked that. And D sounded good too. I do miss everyone though. It’s a little weird being so dislocated. But this is what I wanted.

I may go into town in the next few days. So I may be able to update the blog then. I have a few good topics to write on as well as my trip’s summary so far. I’m going to sleep now. Ah, forgot one thing. I have the start of a trail name. It started as Barkley (Charles Barkley) because Tangy thought I said “terrible” a lot. Then it changed to Sir Charles Gouloins (your balls) because Tangy liked when I called balls gools. But now I want Stooge involved in it somewhere. So I’m trying for Sir Stooge Goulons. But Tangy still wants Charles involved in it somewhere. So we’ll see where it ends up tomorrow! Alright time for bed! Night.

May 10 Notes: All four of us had a rough couple days, Munchies especially. He wore big, heavy boots and he blistered up a lot. His knees were also giving him trouble. He was wetting handkerchiefs in streams and wrapping them around his legs in an attempt to alleviate the swelling and pain. Tangy, always the joker, reminded Munchies that a soggy handkerchief around a knee does little for the knee’s pain.

Scott took the name Nine Nails due to injuries sustained on the trail. One of his toe nails came off from trauma. Two days later, he would go by the name Eight Nails for obvious reasons.

I tended to my blistered feet, happy to be free from any serious injury, yet worried about the possibility of one. The threat of injury and pain was ever present on the trail: sometimes it was dark and overbearing, other times it was light and distant. But I was also worried about intangible injury: the weakness of my will to thru-hike. When I told people I was hiking the AT, they would almost always ask, The whole thing? I’d tell them that I was trying to thru-hike. With that statement, I insulated myself from the threat of bodily and moral injury. I was a ghost hiker, walking painful miles without resolve, afraid of looking like a fool if I went home early: so I just said I was trying. And at Low Gap Shelter, trying seemed pretty brutal. As Munchies struggled with his knees and Nine Nails lost toenails, I repressed the urge to stop walking. But deep in my mind I knew I could quit the trail and be done with it: a finality both freeing and devastating.