Today I received a postcard from my sister in law , V8.
On the front was a ” ‘Life Is Good’ at Uncle Johhny’s” photo.
Johnny’s is a constellation of little cabins, camping sites, dorm style beds, and outfitter’s store on the banks of the Nolichucky River in Erwin, TN. v8 and my wife, Auntie Mame have already hiked north 338 miles from Springer Mountain, GA. They did well at Uncle Johnny’s.
April is usually a tough time for me. Most people love spring. I don’t, really. I get a sort of sinking feeling in my stomach. It comes from all that spring represents. I grew up on a farm, and no matter how hard it was to deal with the cold and dark of winter, that was a time to cut back, to retreat. Once the ground greened up, there was plenty of work to do, and then it was time to deal with humidity, sweat, and the feeling that nothing was ever really done. Sort of a dread thing.
The sinking feeling comes back to me every April , no matter what , but this year it is better.
I had a great time in Austin, Texas last week. I think the constant sunshine and living outside did me good. I appreciate the time that The Captain
and Louis ( Richard Wizard) spent with me bicycling
Here is a photo of me sinking my hands into the automatic hand degreaser at Rudy’s Barbeque in Austin:
Yesterday I firmed up travel plans to head down to Damscus, VA for a week in May to attend a 25,000 person backpacker bash/party in celebration of the Appalachian Trail, even fitting in time to hike for 3 or 4 days with my wife, who is thru-hiking the AT this season. She passes through Damascus next Tuesday, so I’ll rent a car in Roanoke, VA and find her somewhere out there and we’ll backtrack to Trail Days.
I got a call last night from the Old Buzzard, who was at Newfound Gap, North Carolina, smack dab in the middle of Great Smokies National park. I met the Buzzard on the Trail in New Hampshire last year, and this year he is on the AT, kicking ass on his march forward. He called to thank me for helping him with trip preparation this past winter.
Today, I received confirmation for a reserved campsite for 6 people at Katahdin Stream Campground for Aug. 5, when one of my friends from last year’s AT thru-hike, has invited a few of us up there for three days of backpacking as part of her birthday celebration. We’ll climb up to the top of Mt. Katahdin on Aug. 5. What could be better? Here is a 2006 photo of Auntie Mame coming up over the Gateway on Katahdin.
I called General Tso today at 1-800-BIKEMAN to ask him if her remembered last April 25. He knew exactly where we were.
“Yeah, we were at Uncle Johnny’s. We fixed up bicycles that afternoon.”
When I expressed surprise that he instantly was able to match the date with our location, Tso told me that he was able to do that every day.
” I am still on the Trail everyday, man,” he replied.
We talked a bit, and agreed to set aside the Memorial Day weekend next month to do a three day hike of the 42 mile Grafton Loop Trail up around the Grafton Notch area. I just e-mailed Rangoon to invite him as well. Here is a part of it:
“Life is good, today.”