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  1. #1

    Default Hiker Found Dead On Appalachian Trail - New Hampshire Public Radio


    Hiker Found Dead On Appalachian Trail
    New Hampshire Public Radio
    “Early this morning we received a report of a hiker that was not responsive in his tent up here on the Appalachian Trail in Glencliff.” Kneeland said the hikers were apparently worried when they didn't see any activity and looked inside the tent ...



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  2. #2

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    Oh no....my first thought was Geraldine "Inchworm"....but this is a man in NH....anyone know anything?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  3. #3

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    Robert Accola "Lucky 10" started a thru last year and got off in Mass because of injury. Got back on the trail this year July 6 to finish up. Last TJ entry was July 24 in Hanover. Sad.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=15489

  4. #4
    FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    Robert Accola "Lucky 10" started a thru last year and got off in Mass because of injury. Got back on the trail this year July 6 to finish up. Last TJ entry was July 24 in Hanover. Sad.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=15489
    Just got off the trail in Glencliff and saw a police detour sign at the SOBO trailhead (a few feet into the woods). So sad to hear this is the cause.
    1,500 miles down. Keep on keepin' on.

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    This is sad. I wonder what happened? We do many off trail backpacking trips in the Sipsey Widerness In AL. On three different occasions we have came across abandoned tents or strewn gear and I've always gotten that sickening feeling when we see. Thankfully it's always just been the gear that was left behind. Sending out thoughts and prayers to the hikers friends and family.

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    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    Robert Accola "Lucky 10" started a thru last year and got off in Mass because of injury. Got back on the trail this year July 6 to finish up. Last TJ entry was July 24 in Hanover. Sad.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=15489
    It's sad to hear of any death but when my time comes I hope to go as he did, active and outside doing something I enjoy rather than in a hospital room.

  7. #7

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    Sad to hear. This has been a really unlucky year on the trail. Not sure it is statistically safer than real life this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    Sad to hear. This has been a really unlucky year on the trail. Not sure it is statistically safer than real life this year.
    sad indeed, but if i am to die, i would prefer it to be on the trail

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    +1 me too woo
    If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.

    Woo

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    This news truly, truly saddens my heart. I feel the need to chime in to offer a testament to the character and genuine good nature of Lucky 10. I had the pleasure of bumping into him and becoming fast friends last year during my thru-hike, and he was one of the most caring and well-remembered folk walking the trail.

    My first encounter was in the Smokies, where we had days and days of straight rain. In a shelter, my friend Jabbs and I were working to get a small fire going when Lucky walked in. He offered to go out in the cold rain and collect firewood if we had the skills and perseverance to keep a fire going, despite the wood being soaked. We told him we were up to the challenge and he proceeded to make multiple collection runs as we kept the smoky but warm fire going for hours.
    The next night we shared a shelter again and repeated the process. I had also just constructed my first beer can alcohol stove and was having some trouble. He offered to let me use his canister stove and wouldn't accept any of my candy or goodies as a return to the favor.

    Fast forward to the Atkins, VA area and I found myself puking my guts out at 3 am due to that first outbreak of Nora virus. At the time, I had no idea what it was and was pretty scared. I was solo tenting that evening, and there was no one around. I didn't know what the hell could be wrong with me that would wake me from my sleep in a cold sweat to puke it up. The next morning I heard a hiker walking past and was happy it was a familiar face - Lucky 10! The guy who put in work to help the fire keep rolling in the smokies. I told him of my condition, and he opened up his food bag and unloaded an extra days meals on me, thinking that I would probably be delayed and hiking slower, thus needing more food before I could reach town.He hiked on, and after slow-hiking and lots of hydrating, I made it to the shelter he had decided to stop at. He said he was just having a lazy day, but I really believe he had stopped to wait up and make sure I made it alright. He insisted that I not hike further, lay down for rest, and he collected water from the (crappy) stream that was a good walk away from the shelter. He kept me full of water, ibuprofen, and laughter until the next day when I finally began to recover and was able to hike out to the next town.

    The next time I saw Lucky 10 was at the Terrapin Station, just outside of Shenandoah. All of staying at the hostel that evening made a run to the store, and Lucky bough enough beers to share with everyone - even having me pick out one of the 12 packs to satisfy my IPA cravings. I hiked on with another memory of a generous man.

    The final time I saw Lucky on trail was at the Doyle motel in PA. I had been in there getting some grub and brew when he comes walking in, ready for a room and something to fill up on. He bought multiple rounds for me and my hiking crew, and we cheers'd him as we hiked on to night camp somewhere with a toasty buzz.

    To top off all of this, I got a call from Lucky when I was nearing Katahdin. He was heading to NH to do some trail magic (he had to get off the trail due to injury) and wanted to know what area I was in. I told him I was nearing completion, and he offered (more like insisted) that he could meet me and give me a ride home. I told him my next move was to a farm near Portland, ME - and he gladly offered to take me there. So after climbing Katahdin, I celebrated with Lucky and another hiker (Cheetah from Alberta Canada). He drove all the way from NC to ME in order to give a hiker a ride and provide some other trail magic. Talk about selfless - Lucky was a class act. RIP.

    I think Lucky's fatherly instinct kicked in when he would bump into me. As you can tell from my stories, he was always ready to help out and buy a brew for a young broke hiker like me. You see, I just turned 26 and Lucky has a son who is close to my age. In fact, I just talked to Lucky on the phone last weekend - he was in VT and looking forward to his son visiting and hiking through the Whites with him. I wonder if he got to see his father one last time... Lucky told me of some health problems that he had tackled in the past, in fact I believe that was a huge part of his trail name being "Lucky."

    Incredibly sad.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rowan View Post
    This news truly, truly saddens my heart. I feel the need to chime in to offer a testament to the character and genuine good nature of Lucky 10. I had the pleasure of bumping into him and becoming fast friends last year during my thru-hike, and he was one of the most caring and well-remembered folk walking the trail.

    My first encounter was in the Smokies, where we had days and days of straight rain. In a shelter, my friend Jabbs and I were working to get a small fire going when Lucky walked in. He offered to go out in the cold rain and collect firewood if we had the skills and perseverance to keep a fire going, despite the wood being soaked. We told him we were up to the challenge and he proceeded to make multiple collection runs as we kept the smoky but warm fire going for hours.
    The next night we shared a shelter again and repeated the process. I had also just constructed my first beer can alcohol stove and was having some trouble. He offered to let me use his canister stove and wouldn't accept any of my candy or goodies as a return to the favor.

    Fast forward to the Atkins, VA area and I found myself puking my guts out at 3 am due to that first outbreak of Nora virus. At the time, I had no idea what it was and was pretty scared. I was solo tenting that evening, and there was no one around. I didn't know what the hell could be wrong with me that would wake me from my sleep in a cold sweat to puke it up. The next morning I heard a hiker walking past and was happy it was a familiar face - Lucky 10! The guy who put in work to help the fire keep rolling in the smokies. I told him of my condition, and he opened up his food bag and unloaded an extra days meals on me, thinking that I would probably be delayed and hiking slower, thus needing more food before I could reach town.He hiked on, and after slow-hiking and lots of hydrating, I made it to the shelter he had decided to stop at. He said he was just having a lazy day, but I really believe he had stopped to wait up and make sure I made it alright. He insisted that I not hike further, lay down for rest, and he collected water from the (crappy) stream that was a good walk away from the shelter. He kept me full of water, ibuprofen, and laughter until the next day when I finally began to recover and was able to hike out to the next town.

    The next time I saw Lucky 10 was at the Terrapin Station, just outside of Shenandoah. All of staying at the hostel that evening made a run to the store, and Lucky bough enough beers to share with everyone - even having me pick out one of the 12 packs to satisfy my IPA cravings. I hiked on with another memory of a generous man.

    The final time I saw Lucky on trail was at the Doyle motel in PA. I had been in there getting some grub and brew when he comes walking in, ready for a room and something to fill up on. He bought multiple rounds for me and my hiking crew, and we cheers'd him as we hiked on to night camp somewhere with a toasty buzz.

    To top off all of this, I got a call from Lucky when I was nearing Katahdin. He was heading to NH to do some trail magic (he had to get off the trail due to injury) and wanted to know what area I was in. I told him I was nearing completion, and he offered (more like insisted) that he could meet me and give me a ride home. I told him my next move was to a farm near Portland, ME - and he gladly offered to take me there. So after climbing Katahdin, I celebrated with Lucky and another hiker (Cheetah from Alberta Canada). He drove all the way from NC to ME in order to give a hiker a ride and provide some other trail magic. Talk about selfless - Lucky was a class act. RIP.

    I think Lucky's fatherly instinct kicked in when he would bump into me. As you can tell from my stories, he was always ready to help out and buy a brew for a young broke hiker like me. You see, I just turned 26 and Lucky has a son who is close to my age. In fact, I just talked to Lucky on the phone last weekend - he was in VT and looking forward to his son visiting and hiking through the Whites with him. I wonder if he got to see his father one last time... Lucky told me of some health problems that he had tackled in the past, in fact I believe that was a huge part of his trail name being "Lucky."

    Incredibly sad.
    A great story and incredibly sad. Prayers and sympathy for him, his family, and his friends.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  12. #12

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    Ok....you made me cry....but more importantly you made me appreciate Lucky. I wish I'd known him.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  13. #13
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    rowan..I sure hope his son gets a chance to read your story some day. Touching and from the heart. Lucky10 must have handed out a lot of magic over the years.
    RIP Lucky10
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    Forgot to add my trail name - Sonshine. Much love to Lucky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rowan View Post
    Forgot to add my trail name - Sonshine. Much love to Lucky.
    thank you for sharing sunshine.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rowan View Post
    This news truly, truly saddens my heart. I feel the need to chime in to offer a testament to the character and genuine good nature of Lucky 10. I had the pleasure of bumping into him and becoming fast friends last year during my thru-hike, and he was one of the most caring and well-remembered folk walking the trail.

    My first encounter was in the Smokies, where we had days and days of straight rain. In a shelter, my friend Jabbs and I were working to get a small fire going when Lucky walked in. He offered to go out in the cold rain and collect firewood if we had the skills and perseverance to keep a fire going, despite the wood being soaked. We told him we were up to the challenge and he proceeded to make multiple collection runs as we kept the smoky but warm fire going for hours.
    The next night we shared a shelter again and repeated the process. I had also just constructed my first beer can alcohol stove and was having some trouble. He offered to let me use his canister stove and wouldn't accept any of my candy or goodies as a return to the favor.

    Fast forward to the Atkins, VA area and I found myself puking my guts out at 3 am due to that first outbreak of Nora virus. At the time, I had no idea what it was and was pretty scared. I was solo tenting that evening, and there was no one around. I didn't know what the hell could be wrong with me that would wake me from my sleep in a cold sweat to puke it up. The next morning I heard a hiker walking past and was happy it was a familiar face - Lucky 10! The guy who put in work to help the fire keep rolling in the smokies. I told him of my condition, and he opened up his food bag and unloaded an extra days meals on me, thinking that I would probably be delayed and hiking slower, thus needing more food before I could reach town.He hiked on, and after slow-hiking and lots of hydrating, I made it to the shelter he had decided to stop at. He said he was just having a lazy day, but I really believe he had stopped to wait up and make sure I made it alright. He insisted that I not hike further, lay down for rest, and he collected water from the (crappy) stream that was a good walk away from the shelter. He kept me full of water, ibuprofen, and laughter until the next day when I finally began to recover and was able to hike out to the next town.

    The next time I saw Lucky 10 was at the Terrapin Station, just outside of Shenandoah. All of staying at the hostel that evening made a run to the store, and Lucky bough enough beers to share with everyone - even having me pick out one of the 12 packs to satisfy my IPA cravings. I hiked on with another memory of a generous man.

    The final time I saw Lucky on trail was at the Doyle motel in PA. I had been in there getting some grub and brew when he comes walking in, ready for a room and something to fill up on. He bought multiple rounds for me and my hiking crew, and we cheers'd him as we hiked on to night camp somewhere with a toasty buzz.

    To top off all of this, I got a call from Lucky when I was nearing Katahdin. He was heading to NH to do some trail magic (he had to get off the trail due to injury) and wanted to know what area I was in. I told him I was nearing completion, and he offered (more like insisted) that he could meet me and give me a ride home. I told him my next move was to a farm near Portland, ME - and he gladly offered to take me there. So after climbing Katahdin, I celebrated with Lucky and another hiker (Cheetah from Alberta Canada). He drove all the way from NC to ME in order to give a hiker a ride and provide some other trail magic. Talk about selfless - Lucky was a class act. RIP.

    I think Lucky's fatherly instinct kicked in when he would bump into me. As you can tell from my stories, he was always ready to help out and buy a brew for a young broke hiker like me. You see, I just turned 26 and Lucky has a son who is close to my age. In fact, I just talked to Lucky on the phone last weekend - he was in VT and looking forward to his son visiting and hiking through the Whites with him. I wonder if he got to see his father one last time... Lucky told me of some health problems that he had tackled in the past, in fact I believe that was a huge part of his trail name being "Lucky."

    Incredibly sad.
    Sounds like a great guy. Glad you shared this.

  17. #17
    Registered User wornoutboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rowan View Post
    This news truly, truly saddens my heart. I feel the need to chime in to offer a testament to the character and genuine good nature of Lucky 10. I had the pleasure of bumping into him and becoming fast friends last year during my thru-hike, and he was one of the most caring and well-remembered folk walking the trail.

    My first encounter was in the Smokies, where we had days and days of straight rain. In a shelter, my friend Jabbs and I were working to get a small fire going when Lucky walked in. He offered to go out in the cold rain and collect firewood if we had the skills and perseverance to keep a fire going, despite the wood being soaked. We told him we were up to the challenge and he proceeded to make multiple collection runs as we kept the smoky but warm fire going for hours.
    The next night we shared a shelter again and repeated the process. I had also just constructed my first beer can alcohol stove and was having some trouble. He offered to let me use his canister stove and wouldn't accept any of my candy or goodies as a return to the favor.

    Fast forward to the Atkins, VA area and I found myself puking my guts out at 3 am due to that first outbreak of Nora virus. At the time, I had no idea what it was and was pretty scared. I was solo tenting that evening, and there was no one around. I didn't know what the hell could be wrong with me that would wake me from my sleep in a cold sweat to puke it up. The next morning I heard a hiker walking past and was happy it was a familiar face - Lucky 10! The guy who put in work to help the fire keep rolling in the smokies. I told him of my condition, and he opened up his food bag and unloaded an extra days meals on me, thinking that I would probably be delayed and hiking slower, thus needing more food before I could reach town.He hiked on, and after slow-hiking and lots of hydrating, I made it to the shelter he had decided to stop at. He said he was just having a lazy day, but I really believe he had stopped to wait up and make sure I made it alright. He insisted that I not hike further, lay down for rest, and he collected water from the (crappy) stream that was a good walk away from the shelter. He kept me full of water, ibuprofen, and laughter until the next day when I finally began to recover and was able to hike out to the next town.

    The next time I saw Lucky 10 was at the Terrapin Station, just outside of Shenandoah. All of staying at the hostel that evening made a run to the store, and Lucky bough enough beers to share with everyone - even having me pick out one of the 12 packs to satisfy my IPA cravings. I hiked on with another memory of a generous man.

    The final time I saw Lucky on trail was at the Doyle motel in PA. I had been in there getting some grub and brew when he comes walking in, ready for a room and something to fill up on. He bought multiple rounds for me and my hiking crew, and we cheers'd him as we hiked on to night camp somewhere with a toasty buzz.

    To top off all of this, I got a call from Lucky when I was nearing Katahdin. He was heading to NH to do some trail magic (he had to get off the trail due to injury) and wanted to know what area I was in. I told him I was nearing completion, and he offered (more like insisted) that he could meet me and give me a ride home. I told him my next move was to a farm near Portland, ME - and he gladly offered to take me there. So after climbing Katahdin, I celebrated with Lucky and another hiker (Cheetah from Alberta Canada). He drove all the way from NC to ME in order to give a hiker a ride and provide some other trail magic. Talk about selfless - Lucky was a class act. RIP.

    I think Lucky's fatherly instinct kicked in when he would bump into me. As you can tell from my stories, he was always ready to help out and buy a brew for a young broke hiker like me. You see, I just turned 26 and Lucky has a son who is close to my age. In fact, I just talked to Lucky on the phone last weekend - he was in VT and looking forward to his son visiting and hiking through the Whites with him. I wonder if he got to see his father one last time... Lucky told me of some health problems that he had tackled in the past, in fact I believe that was a huge part of his trail name being "Lucky."

    Incredibly sad.
    LOVE IT!!!

    RIP Lucky 10!!!
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind.....Then Join In

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rowan View Post
    This news truly, truly saddens my heart. I feel the need to chime in to offer a testament to the character and genuine good nature of Lucky 10. I had the pleasure of bumping into him and becoming fast friends last year during my thru-hike, and he was one of the most caring and well-remembered folk walking the trail.

    My first encounter was in the Smokies, where we had days and days of straight rain. In a shelter, my friend Jabbs and I were working to get a small fire going when Lucky walked in. He offered to go out in the cold rain and collect firewood if we had the skills and perseverance to keep a fire going, despite the wood being soaked. We told him we were up to the challenge and he proceeded to make multiple collection runs as we kept the smoky but warm fire going for hours.
    The next night we shared a shelter again and repeated the process. I had also just constructed my first beer can alcohol stove and was having some trouble. He offered to let me use his canister stove and wouldn't accept any of my candy or goodies as a return to the favor.

    Fast forward to the Atkins, VA area and I found myself puking my guts out at 3 am due to that first outbreak of Nora virus. At the time, I had no idea what it was and was pretty scared. I was solo tenting that evening, and there was no one around. I didn't know what the hell could be wrong with me that would wake me from my sleep in a cold sweat to puke it up. The next morning I heard a hiker walking past and was happy it was a familiar face - Lucky 10! The guy who put in work to help the fire keep rolling in the smokies. I told him of my condition, and he opened up his food bag and unloaded an extra days meals on me, thinking that I would probably be delayed and hiking slower, thus needing more food before I could reach town.He hiked on, and after slow-hiking and lots of hydrating, I made it to the shelter he had decided to stop at. He said he was just having a lazy day, but I really believe he had stopped to wait up and make sure I made it alright. He insisted that I not hike further, lay down for rest, and he collected water from the (crappy) stream that was a good walk away from the shelter. He kept me full of water, ibuprofen, and laughter until the next day when I finally began to recover and was able to hike out to the next town.

    The next time I saw Lucky 10 was at the Terrapin Station, just outside of Shenandoah. All of staying at the hostel that evening made a run to the store, and Lucky bough enough beers to share with everyone - even having me pick out one of the 12 packs to satisfy my IPA cravings. I hiked on with another memory of a generous man.

    The final time I saw Lucky on trail was at the Doyle motel in PA. I had been in there getting some grub and brew when he comes walking in, ready for a room and something to fill up on. He bought multiple rounds for me and my hiking crew, and we cheers'd him as we hiked on to night camp somewhere with a toasty buzz.

    To top off all of this, I got a call from Lucky when I was nearing Katahdin. He was heading to NH to do some trail magic (he had to get off the trail due to injury) and wanted to know what area I was in. I told him I was nearing completion, and he offered (more like insisted) that he could meet me and give me a ride home. I told him my next move was to a farm near Portland, ME - and he gladly offered to take me there. So after climbing Katahdin, I celebrated with Lucky and another hiker (Cheetah from Alberta Canada). He drove all the way from NC to ME in order to give a hiker a ride and provide some other trail magic. Talk about selfless - Lucky was a class act. RIP.

    I think Lucky's fatherly instinct kicked in when he would bump into me. As you can tell from my stories, he was always ready to help out and buy a brew for a young broke hiker like me. You see, I just turned 26 and Lucky has a son who is close to my age. In fact, I just talked to Lucky on the phone last weekend - he was in VT and looking forward to his son visiting and hiking through the Whites with him. I wonder if he got to see his father one last time... Lucky told me of some health problems that he had tackled in the past, in fact I believe that was a huge part of his trail name being "Lucky."

    Incredibly sad.
    It seems like you were the Lucky man.

  19. #19

    Default The Hero of Kent-

    Two weeks ago, a man died on the AT. Not some idiot weekender, but a bonafide fellow thru-hiker. It was just on the outskirts of Kent, and word of his death spread like wildfire on the trail, partly because all news spreads like wildfire on the trail, but mainly because the man had died a hero's death.

    So as Ol’ Man Willy hiked south towards the town of Kent, he began to wonder if this tree perhaps was THE tree, as he wondered about every large tree as he began the descent into the town. The old man realized that suddenly he was in Connecticut, pretty well finished with New England really, and that he had failed to consume even one lobster thus far. So with the Hero in mind, he headed east to the end of town towards a place that appeared to carefully straddle the line.

    Like the narrow ribbon of protected corridor the trail passed though, he needed the delicate balance required by any thru hiker seeking a fancy meal. A nice enough restaurant that he could purchase a lobster dinner, but not so nice a restaurant that a scum bag hiker like him would be tossed out. Thankfully such a place existed, and with the Hero in mind the old man found just the right spot at the bar in the lounge, and just the right specials on the menu to satisfy all the requirements of this memorial meal.

    A few hours later, when the dinner crowd began to show up, the old man realized that the precarious balance his presence in the restaurant depended upon was tipping unfavorably and it was time to make a move. So, one lover's lobster dinner for two, three or four Newcastle 24 oz draft's, and a double order of fries later, the old man left the restaurant. As he headed back to the trail he noticed a place more friendly to his crowd, and once more with the hero in mind, the old man decided that it was a good idea to stop in and lift a glass in his memory.

    So one bacon double cheeseburger; half a dozen Irish pints of Guinness, a few hours, and one more double plate of french fires later the old man looked across the bar at his fellow patrons. Ol’ Man Willy was a bit of a hero in such places, not just for his ability to accumulate large bar tabs that stimulate the immediate economy, but because he was a hiker. A free man living life on the open road; wandering from town to town, bar to bar, and occasionally from lobster to burger. So after a bit of conversation it came as little surprise that his fellow patrons offered to buy him a drink.

    Now, expecting the standard practices of such an offer to be followed, the old man gladly accepted his payment, earned by telling tales and inspiring the sad sacks around him. Normally such an offer would involve a refill of his beverage of choice, or perhaps, if a creative man were to make the offer, he may shrewdly observe the un-mistakable Irish Stout the old man had been steadily quaffing, and in a fit of inspiration he could buy a shot of suitable whiskey to accompany such a drink.

    For some strange reason however the patron did not follow standard practice. For an even stranger reason the bartender happily complied with the patron's offer. So it came to be that the old man found himself facing a glass filled to the brim with peppermint schnapps. This was a big glass, mayhap, in the old man's expert opinion, as many as eight shots. Not a cheap drink, even if it was generously poured. Not an appropriate drink, even if poured over a stomach better equipped than the old man's overloaded and variety filled gut. A clear violation of the general socially accepted practices of the day.


    Perhaps, these people simply didn’t enjoy his company as much as he originally thought.

    But two wrongs don't make a right, and Ol’ Man Willy smiled and graciously accepted not only the drink, but the daunting task of finding a place for it to go. In honor of the Hero, the old man, keeping in mind the shelter just a half mile outside of town, finished his half pint of schnapps, and one last pint of the black, and quite literally, headed for the hills.

    Unfortunately, despite it being September, the shelter was fuller than a southern shelter in April. Where do these ******** come from? Don't they understand that an over served thru hiker has arrived, looking only for a place to lay down? Didn't they know that a Hero died near here? "Dammit," said the old man aloud, "it must be Saturday"

    So in the disgruntled fashion that only a Thru hiker can muster when counting on a spot in a shelter, the old man noisily tossed his gear onto the ground near the fire. Carefully making sure that his pots banged loudly on the rocks near the fire, and that he generally did his best to let the others at the shelter know that a great injustice had taken place.

    A few hours later, Ol’ Man Willy awakened in a slight panic. His mummy bag not being designed for the quick exit he required, a great effort was made to balance forces beyond his control as the zipper and drawcord were released in the correct order to escape his fluffy enclosure. He made his way quickly to the fire pit. It was a close thing indeed.

    Shortly thereafter, in the great stench caused by the violent interaction of several meals, several bar visits, and several still burning coals, the old man convinced himself that he had only thrown up to spite the other campers in the shelter. Seeing the slight change in the wind, and it's redirection of the noxious vapor into the shelter left the old man further convinced that greater powers were on his side. Smugly satisfied by his actions the old man made his way back to the bag. Another day lived; certainly not perfectly, at least fully, and reflected on the hero.

    The fella was in his mid forties, or so he had been told. He had hiked northbound like so many others that year. Unlike the others, the hero was a dead man walking. Some rare heart defect, complicated by a life poorly lived in town, had conspired against him to the end result of a death sentence, passed and confirmed by his doctors.

    Possibly a year, probably less, even with careful diet, rest, and constant care. Monthly visits to doctors, dieticians, and more could buy him some time, but at great cost, and at no value. Faced with the thought, of a short stay of execution in the doctor’s prison, merely to buy a few more wasted months of town life, the Hero emerged, and began a thru hike that year at Springer Mountain.

    While the old man didn't know the exact time the fella was out, he knew that a week on the trail, was worth more than a month in town. By that formula the old man knew that the Hero had cheated the doctors, had gotten not months, but years of LIFE before his time bomb quietly exploded. A short mile or so north of where the old man gazed up at the stars, a short time ago, a Hero had died.

    They say he stopped in Kent, maybe for a beer, or a burger, or even just a Snickers.
    They say he walked out of town, and up the hill, and that he stopped for a rest.
    They say he sat down, popped his hip belt, loosened his straps, and with backpack still on sat against a tree for a bit.
    They say that's how he was found, water bottle in one hand, some snacks in the other, resting on his backpack and embraced by a tree.
    They say he appeared to be sleeping peacefully.
    They say he was facing south, fourteen hundred some odd miles of trail, and sunshine.

    They say he was smiling.

  20. #20

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    Did you write The Hero of Kent, JB? If so...a wonderful tribute to passing hikers....and you should copy it to the Creative Corner.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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