View Full Version : Heel and Annie

04-21-2004, 16:47
I briefly met a multiple thruhiker on New Year's eve at Springer named "Heel" with a dog named Annie. I was told that Annie was about 300 miles short of 10,000 miles on the AT, Heel had a bit more under his belt.

I'd love to know a more about them. Stories?

Lone Wolf
04-21-2004, 17:06
I know they blue and yellow blaze a lot. :banana

04-21-2004, 18:23
You mean Heald?? His dog's name is Annie aka Dog Wonder. Blue Jay is right, yellow blaze, blue blaze, whatever. They still have tons and tons of miles.

04-21-2004, 18:26
A truely great and humble guy. He doesn't really ever strive to thru-hike or pretend as if he is. He's out there every year in fall, winter and spring just hiking big sections. He works often at Neels Gap and helped open the Rainbow Springs Outfitter. He'll be at TrailDays.

04-21-2004, 18:45
I met up with a grizzled old guy just over the Georgia border, trail name of Batch, who supposedly starts north just about every spring until he gets tired of hiking. This guy was 82-years old and seemed to be able to walk at a consistently good pace without tiring, starting out first thing in the morning and walking until his "feet got sore or until a half hour before sunset." Anyone heard of him?

Moon Monster
04-21-2004, 19:29
Heald finished an AT hike (I think his sixth) at Partnership Shelter just before Easter last year. He and some first time NOBOs partied for a couple days. For a 10,000+ miler, he was very friendly to the first timers and seemed to go with whatever their whims were (e.g., taking a de facto zero day by hiking back to the Dair Queen in Atkins and eating ice cream all day). I guess with that many miles, the people become what makes the trail experiences variable.

He hikes mostly in colder months and his complete AT hikes are often broken over a couple years. He lives in Maine I think with Dog Wonder who has just three legs. I think he did the PCT or most of it once but he says he didn't like it and most of his miles are from the AT. He has an encylopedic memory of the AT and its services. For example, he knows every shelter and how long its approach trail is. I bet most multiple 2000 milers are like that, but he is the only one I've met and seen recite such things.

04-21-2004, 21:56
Haha. Could those first time NOBO's of been Space Monkey and Hot Poles? I believe the 3 of them were traveling together. Great bunch of guys.

Annie has 3 legs? Last time I saw them at the Gathering she had 4 so I hope nothing happened! He certainly never mentioned anything to me. The dog has over 10,000 miles.

Unlike other multiple repeat thru-hikers I've met and corresponded with, he's not into lecturing or telling people what and how to do things.

Moon Monster
04-21-2004, 22:39
Uups!! When I met Heald and his groupies over a couple days there were about 3 or 4 dogs traveling together with that group and one of them had only three legs. I kept connecting that dog with Heald but I must have been wrong. Sorry. 10,000 miles still makes Annie a Dog Wonder even with a full set of legs.

Yes, 2 of Heald's 2003 groupies were Space Monkey and Hot Poles, but there were 3 or 4 others also including Early Riser and Duchess.

04-22-2004, 08:15
The amount this group knows about every part of the trail is astounding. Ok, so it is Heald, not Heel. And Annie, the wonder dog has 4 legs. Here is a picture of her and Cisco, another friendly trail dog:


taken on 31 Dec 2003 on Springer Mt.

I agree, Heald seemed very easy to get along with. He talked quietly, listened patiently, and retired to a tent (I think) before the night got too late. He seemed very happy to be on the trail and looked forward to Annie's 10000 mile accomplishment.

04-22-2004, 08:52
I had the good fortune to meet Heald on top of Springer on February 28, 2003 as he was signing in for his thru hike for March 1st. We talked for about and hour. He hikes down to Springer and works for Winton at Neels Gap and stays there for a while and then leaves around March 1st to hike back to Maine.

A very low key, nice guy who just hikes and does what he wants...does not even presume to do every white blaze just a LOT of miles. He carries a large bible with him and he sleeps in a Black Diamond Megalite tarp with Annie.

He eats his meals and stores his food inside the tarp with Annie providing the protection. She got injured paws last year and had to come off the trail for a while.

He spent the night at Hawk Mountain shelter last March 1st when A-train and I were there...and several hikers just left their food inside his LARGE tee-pee tarp.