View Full Version : Any sighting of NOBO named Dusty?

tenderfoot smith
05-20-2007, 14:09
Just finished 40 mile hike thru GSMNP which included north section of AT. Ran into hiker claiming to be NOBO thru hiker. Curious if anyone else has run into since our contact or maybe before. Also may be helpful to read below in case you do run into him on the trail.

We had a strange guy calling himself Dusty arrive at Pecks Corner about 5:30 thursday afternoon, thursday may 17th. Wearing only denim shorts, cotton t-shirt, old black windbreaker, cotton socks, tennis shoes, black day pack , and ball cap. No other supplies or clothes except 2 budweiser beers in glass bottles which he drank. He had hiked in from Newfound Gap which was about 7 mile hike to pecks. Temp at that time was 45 and falling. Temps dropped thru the night with light rain turning to snow flurries.
His stated he was going to Maine and someone had stolen his main pack and supplies at Newfound when he was in the restroom. He was planning to get resupplied at three bears after he exited park at davenport gap. He claimed he was formerly a bull rider, in the army special forces, had hiked the AT to Maine before, hiked 35 miles a day and on and on. He was big strong guy who looked healthy but was obviously delusional. Obviously not sure what we were dealing with at his arrival we offered food and water and were hoping he would continue to tri corner, however he started to become hyperthermic and unresponsive.
With the great help of Ranger Matt the hog hunter who lived up the hill behind the shelter, we got him warmed up with a fire, a sleeping pad ,emergency blanket, extra clothes to sleep in and some extra food.
Unfortunately he refused to leave with ranger matt the next day who was offering to help get Dusty resupplied. Dusty ate a little of our food we had given him but would not drank any water and left for davenport the next morning at about 7:30. The last we heard he was at the low gap junction at about 3:30pm heading out to Davenport.
He definitely would have died if no one would have been there to help him. He does not appear to be criminal or violent . Appears to be more of a homeless person with mental /delusional issues.

9 Mules
05-20-2007, 20:26
He was at Standing Bear Farm Friday night.
Believed to be in Hot Springs today.
His stories are hard to believe.
I heard the Park police are looking for him.

tenderfoot smith
05-20-2007, 21:14
interesting. did you have direct contact with him? I can tell you from spending time with him , his stories are not true. Did he buy a new pack and supplies before going to hot springs?

9 Mules
05-21-2007, 06:45
Yes, I had direct contact with him at SBF and heard about what went on in the Park pretty much as you described it.
I called Bluff Mtn. Outfitters and talked with Dan about him. The local police talked with Dusty and we found out that he has a long rap sheet but no outstanding warrants.
He is full of bull and can't keep his stories straight.
There were 3 former Marines with him at SBF and his military story wasn't just right. Spent 10 in Iraq and couldn't remember the "group" he was with.
Also, I don't believe he hiked from Alaska to Washington state in -50F weather.
Any hoot, no harm no foul, but yea is life needs to get in order.

tenderfoot smith
05-21-2007, 07:56
Thanks for info. We were wondering if he would continue on when he left GSMNP or just hitchhike down the road to no telling where.
it would be interesting to hear if any hikers down the trail have any future encounters with him to see how far he makes it down the trail. Also, if he continues NOBO it would be helppul to other hikers if there were a way to notify them about Dusty as he would be quite unnerving to meet up with him in a shelter. Again it is hard to tell his intentions, however if you leave him alone he does not appear tohave any violent or criminal intentions, just mentally ill.

Baum Trigger
05-21-2007, 08:39
Ran into him on the AT between Max Patch and Ground Hog Creek Shelter on Saturday. Very Strange, had ridiculous stories and seemed disstressed about having no water. Also claimed a man was dying on the trail just behind him. Found the man claimed to be dying, but the man was perfectly fine and great shape. A very strange encounter indeed with this "Dusty". I'm sure he's in Hot Springs by now or beyond...

05-21-2007, 08:47
i think i saw him at trail days, a bit odd, but harmless
he was definitely talking about bull riding
i don't remember what name he told me, but dusty doesn't ring a bell, but who knows, i meet soooo many people
also he had a really nice dog w/ him named max

05-21-2007, 08:53
then again if he was at max patch on sat, this is probably a different person

this guys bullriding stories were pretty well held together, and he was in damascus on sat.
maybe dusty picked up the bullriding stories from him?

tenderfoot smith
05-21-2007, 18:26
do you know if "Dusty" resupplied at SBF with new pack,water, food,clothes,etc.. or is he still hiking in shorts, tennis shoes, windbreaker and empty daypack??

Baum Trigger
05-22-2007, 00:07
do you know if "Dusty" resupplied at SBF with new pack,water, food,clothes,etc.. or is he still hiking in shorts, tennis shoes, windbreaker and empty daypack??

No resupply as far as i could tell. still daay pack and hiking in shorts, tennis shoes and windbreaker. very small day pack couldnt hold much. the guy seemed very delusional, complaining about no water right after he had passed some at Brown Gap, 3 miles before Max. Hope some rangers find him soon. he should be in or past Hot Springs by now. I think the guy needs some serious help.

tenderfoot smith
05-22-2007, 15:17
it is amazing he has been able to hike as far as hot springs from where we saw him at pecks corner coming in from newfound gap. We tried to give him some watrer but he would not drink any. he did eat some of the power bars we gave him. Hopefully there will be others on the trail who will help him. If not he could have some serious trouble.

9 Mules
05-25-2007, 08:24
Dusty, aka JD now goes by the name of "sled dog".
Sighted at Uncle Johnny's 2 days ago.
Info source from NOBOs @ Johnny's.

tenderfoot smith
05-26-2007, 07:55
so our wild man dusty a.k.a sled dog is still on the trail. Where is johnny's ? Is this north of Hot Springs?

Lightning Rod_2007
05-26-2007, 08:03
so our wild man dusty a.k.a sled dog is still on the trail. Where is johnny's ? Is this north of Hot Springs?

Uncle Johnny's is on the Nolichucky River just outside Erwin.

tenderfoot smith
05-30-2007, 08:37
thanks, saw it on the map and internet. Johnny's looks like a good place to know about.

"Sled Dog" may have originated from Dusty's stories of living in various parts of Alaska.

06-06-2007, 16:07
I was in Damascus over the weekend and saw that "Sled Dog" had signed the sign-in books at the Library and MRO....said the home was in Alaska.

06-10-2007, 00:16
sled dog and his 'stories' passed through pearisburg 2 nites ago. there are some rumors of an 'incident' at woodshole. he seemed harmless enough, just full of BS.

tenderfoot smith
06-10-2007, 09:53
WOW ! Hard to believe he is still making progress NOBO. Can you comment on his equipment, supplies and clothes?

06-10-2007, 13:55
well he had a pack, an older frame pack, a sleeping bag and stuff. his clothes looked like cotton clothes. his food was just food, lotsa candy, was using a a gallon jug for a water bottle. I also saw sled dog at a shelter 15 miles before pizza shelter. he was nice enough and I don't have anything against him. He loves dogs and let one of my buddies dogs sleep at the end of his bag. I just got a BS vibe from him. He does put in big miles, he says 30 a day but I would bet it is at least 20. he was not yogi'ing, just walking.

06-20-2007, 07:47
sled dog was spotted at rusty's on 6/18 where he spent the night. he was asked to leave after the first night and shuttled to waynesboro.

he has now changed his name to mountain man.

his real name is robert pace from washington state.

anyone of his character should be considered questionable. my advice, avoid him for a better hiking experience.

tenderfoot smith
06-20-2007, 09:07
Thanks for update. is rusty's a hostel for AT hikers? How did you find out his real name? Can you give update on his food equipment clothes etc....

06-20-2007, 17:03
rusty's is a hostel, rusty's hard time hollow. his real name came from a park official who picked him up for questioning involving a vehicle being broken into at a road crossing. i do not know the nature of his present equipment.