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General Fireball
08-07-2005, 21:33
We have encountered a thru-hiker here in Vernon NJ who claims he was homeless in Florida, later ended up in Georgia, and that a Georgia Police department--evidently knowing of no simpler way of getting a "vagrant" out of their town--dropped him off at Amicalola Falls State Park and told him to hike the AT, as there were "people who could help him out" along the way. I should add his general appearance suggests his story may be true (i.e. he's hiking in sneakers held together with duct tape). I have no problem with him hiking the Trail, but it is a bit disturbing to think that some police department in Georgia regards the AT as this kind of problem solver for them. Has anyone else heard stories to this effect?

colbys
08-07-2005, 22:08
thats a good question....i used to live in ga near the trail and i never heard of that happening,but i wouldnt be surprised if the cops around dawsonville would do something like that....

but i sure hope ignorant people(especially ga policemen) dont think that they can drop off vagrant people and think that they can be rid of a problem person...

Frosty
08-07-2005, 22:42
We have encountered a thru-hiker here in Vernon NJ who claims he was homeless in Florida, later ended up in Georgia, and that a Georgia Police department--evidently knowing of no simpler way of getting a "vagrant" out of their town--dropped him off at Amicalola Falls State Park and told him to hike the AT, as there were "people who could help him out" along the way. I should add his general appearance suggests his story may be true (i.e. he's hiking in sneakers held together with duct tape). I have no problem with him hiking the Trail, but it is a bit disturbing to think that some police department in Georgia regards the AT as this kind of problem solver for them. Has anyone else heard stories to this effect?Ha ha. THat is brilliant. I mean, not for the AT, but look at it from the cop's point of view. THe worst that could happen is that the guy does a yoyo, and what's the odds of that happening?

fiddlehead
08-07-2005, 23:18
Sounds like a cheap way to get a ride to the trailhead.
But really, that's AMAZING! Sort of like relocating a problem bear?
I'm glad to hear he's still hiking. THAT'S Amazing too.

SGT Rock
08-08-2005, 00:04
Seems like about once a year there is the hiker got put on the trail by the police tale. I wonder if this is the same guy hiking every year with the story. Is this one of Elwood's stories?

Lone Wolf
08-08-2005, 04:31
Sounds like Sreamer. That's the story he told or someone told in 2000.

Jaybird
08-08-2005, 05:56
so.........how can you tell the difference between a thru-hiker & a vagrant?

hehehehehehehehe :p

Crazy Larry #1
08-08-2005, 06:39
i don't know if the stories true or not, but in case some of you don't know it, i will enlighten you a little here......there are a number of homeless people who are out along the trails route at any one time.....how do i know this? i lived on and off that trail for three years as i hiked-"white blazin, blue blazin and yellow blazin all the way to maine from nantahala gorge"-and i was homeless, by choice of course.....it was the trail and the people of the trail that i met along the way that helped restore my will to live.....i say i was homeless by choice, this is not entirely true...for i was running from the law and that was by choice, the decision that i made....and it so happened that i was living in bryson city and had just read "Walk In The Woods" when my light started flashing in my head to leave and run from this 8 year probation i had 7 more years to do and that is how i came to be on the trail starting in august of 2000......the best thing that ever happened in my life.....i went back to north carolina in november 2003, turned myself in, and sat in a prison for fourteen months, i was released on 1-8-05......i am very grateful to the trail and the many people that befriended me out there....i am really doing good.....for the first time in many years, i am not running from anything......no bad dreams of wars, no drug lords, no wondering if the cop behind me is about to pull me over and if i can outrun him.....i sleep really good at night and it was the trail where i had first experienced sound sleeping......now, when i have figured how to keep a steady income coming in, and i will, i will be out there hiking again....only this time i will have a home to come back to.....

Lugnut
08-08-2005, 08:04
so.........how can you tell the difference between a thru-hiker & a vagrant?

hehehehehehehehe :p
Gortex ! ;)

Hammock Hanger
08-08-2005, 08:34
Gortex ! ;)


Good one....:p

Hammock Hanger
08-08-2005, 08:36
... i was released on 1-8-05......i am very grateful to the trail and the many people that befriended me out there....i am really doing good.....for the first time in many years, i am not running from anything......no bad dreams of wars, no drug lords, no wondering if the cop behind me is about to pull me over and if i can outrun him.....i sleep really good at night and it was the trail where i had first experienced sound sleeping......now, when i have figured how to keep a steady income coming in, and i will, i will be out there hiking again....only this time i will have a home to come back to.....
I am glad that it allowed you the time to clear your mind and the ability to return to clean up your life. (old baggage just sucks!) Good luck to you in your future endevors...

SGT Rock
08-08-2005, 09:03
Yep, I love to go to the trail to clear out the cobwebs, it normally doesn't take me as long as you Wanderer, but then again, I've never tried it for that long either, maybe my cobwebs are packed in there and I just don't notice it.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-08-2005, 10:39
A lot of people have made permanent, positive life changes as a result of being on the trail. The Only Wanderer, my hat is off to you for what you shared. Coming to terms with the wreckage of the past is the only way any of us can ever hope to hold our heads high and be a true peer of mankind - a man among men instead of 'less than' or 'greater than'

Blister
08-08-2005, 10:39
Sounds exactly like screamer's story!! If it is him He reeeally was a good guy at heart and the trail atually helped him snap out of the dze that many homeless can fall into by not having personal contact with others.

A-Train
08-08-2005, 13:08
I Stayed with Screamer last week at Brink Rd. He was hiking to meet up with his friends who hitch from town to town. Nice guy, pretty harmless. Told me he was down in Florida but also from NYC. Not sure about the Georgia/cop story. Told me he wasn't thru-hiking and was just out for a couple months.
One of the other RR's told me a similar story about a "thru-hiker" that had been kicked out of the Vernon hostel for staying too long and was now moving to the Firehouse

Crazy Larry #1
08-08-2005, 19:12
thanks FD, sounds like you may be a friend of Bill W.? and sgt rock, i still have a few cobwebs, will probaby for the rest of my life.....i just want to say that i really enjoy this site and the hiking community of the appalachian trail......

Mini-Mosey
08-10-2005, 20:48
I got out on short backpacking trips a lot in 2000, and I was told about "Screamer". I was told that he was put on the trail in Georgia by the police. Sounds sad to begin with....but I will say that in the long run, it appears to have worked out well for him.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-11-2005, 01:22
Wanderer, Bill W. and I have been good friends for nearly 21 yrs.

Crazy Larry #1
08-11-2005, 05:54
Sounds exactly like screamer's story!! If it is him He reeeally was a good guy at heart and the trail atually helped him snap out of the dze that many homeless can fall into by not having personal contact with others.this ain't screamers story, it's mine....besides i was in west dover when you werte in vermont....i think we talked on the phone once through mutual friends....you were a waitress and i was cooking at the dover forge and billiard sanctuary....

Crazy Larry #1
08-11-2005, 05:56
Wanderer, Bill W. and I have been good friends for nearly 21 yrs.right on bro! i just took on a tuesday night meeting to chair....been active for almost two years now....

Nightwalker
08-11-2005, 18:48
so.........how can you tell the difference between a thru-hiker & a vagrant?

hehehehehehehehe :p
Better shoes.

Blister
08-11-2005, 19:31
Don't worry - I remember talking to you in Vermont and our many mutual friends. However my quote above still reminds me of Screamer whom I spent some time with on the trail in 2000. I guess it can be said that many people share similar stories then.

Blister
08-11-2005, 19:35
Your reply to my post I think was a little confused. The story that I was speaking of and refering to screamer with,was the actual first thread describing a hiker in Vernon, NJ. My hat is off to you as you have moved on positivley with your life.

Moxie00
08-11-2005, 19:46
In 2000 I hiked from Waynesboro, Va. to New York with Screamer. He was homeless, from New York and had been wandering from Floridia to New York when he was put on the trail. He was put on in Georgia but at a road crossing well north of Springer. Many of my friends saw him just after he got on the trail and his story seemed to be true. He started carrying his few belongings in a yellow pail and got his food by dumpster diving, it is the truth, I witnessed it. When he had to sleep outdoors he slet under a blue tarp but he usually slept in shelters. His stove was a #10 tin can and he cooked over an open fire. He accepted no handouts and the new sneakers he bought in Waynesboro were bought when someone left $50 in his gear while he was sleeping. He couldn't give it back so he bought the sneakers and gave the change away. Bob Peoples at Kinkora Hostel tricked Screamer into swapping his yellow bucket for a small back pack. Bob told him he needed a bucket for the hostel laundry and Screamer would do him a favor by swapping it for a backpack. Every morning he woke up at 3:30 and went to town to find a supermarket dumpster and he would raid it right after the night crew cleaned the store. He told me, "Moxie, you wouudn't believe it, the chicken is still hot, the milk is still cold, and you wouldn't believe the bakery stuff they throw away." I was at one shelter in Pa. when Screamer came in at 6:30 with at least 20 loaves of bread to share with his fellow hikers. Supermarkets even threw away Snickers bars because they were a little melted and Screamer grabbed them all. His sneakers were completly destroyed by the Pa. rocks and Screamer walked the last 30 miles into Deleware Warer Gap barefoot and there were a pair of boots in the hiker box at The Church of The Mountain that were only one size too small so he wore them after that. He would work for stay and work he did, When we got to the Mohegan Outdoor Center he had no money so he snuck into the bunk house and stayed there. The next morning he moved all the bunks, moved the kitchen furniture outside and completly washed and waxed the floors. When the caretaker got back from his day off it must have blown his mind. He did the same thing at the Episcopal Hostel in Vernon New Jersey. What little money he did have was from getting aluminum cans out of dumpsters in the south and selling them to recycling centers. He did pretty well at Trail Days. When he got to New York where they had a five cent can deposit Screamer had a little extra money because he picked up every can he found on or near the trail or in town. At the Vernon Hostel they gave him a new pair of wool hiking socks to show their appreciation for his work and that was the only thing I ever saw him accept where he didn't work to earn it. I got a little ahead of him before I got to Ct. and never saw Screamer again. I heard he injured his leg and went into a town to hole up until it healed. I heard he actually made it to Andover, Maine but winter moved in and he wasn't prepared and got a ride back to Gorham, N.H. where he finished his hike in 2000. I had a job waiting for him in Maine and he had my address and phone # but he never contacted me. I have heard he gets on the trail every year but I never saw him again. He was one of the nicest people I knew on the trail and his strange ways and the way he adapted his clever ways to thru hiking would fill a book. I will never forgert Screamer, they will never make another one like him, he was real, I have pictures to prove it and I miss him very much.

Crazy Larry #1
08-11-2005, 23:15
Your reply to my post I think was a little confused. The story that I was speaking of and refering to screamer with,was the actual first thread describing a hiker in Vernon, NJ. My hat is off to you as you have moved on positivley with your life.thankyou blister....

Crazy Larry #1
08-11-2005, 23:19
In 2000 I hiked from Waynesboro, Va. to New York with Screamer. He was homeless, from New York and had been wandering from Floridia to New York when he was put on the trail. He was put on in Georgia but at a road crossing well north of Springer. Many of my friends saw him just after he got on the trail and his story seemed to be true. He started carrying his few belongings in a yellow pail and got his food by dumpster diving, it is the truth, I witnessed it. When he had to sleep outdoors he slet under a blue tarp but he usually slept in shelters. His stove was a #10 tin can and he cooked over an open fire. He accepted no handouts and the new sneakers he bought in Waynesboro were bought when someone left $50 in his gear while he was sleeping. He couldn't give it back so he bought the sneakers and gave the change away. Bob Peoples at Kinkora Hostel tricked Screamer into swapping his yellow bucket for a small back pack. Bob told him he needed a bucket for the hostel laundry and Screamer would do him a favor by swapping it for a backpack. Every morning he woke up at 3:30 and went to town to find a supermarket dumpster and he would raid it right after the night crew cleaned the store. He told me, "Moxie, you wouudn't believe it, the chicken is still hot, the milk is still cold, and you wouldn't believe the bakery stuff they throw away." I was at one shelter in Pa. when Screamer came in at 6:30 with at least 20 loaves of bread to share with his fellow hikers. Supermarkets even threw away Snickers bars because they were a little melted and Screamer grabbed them all. His sneakers were completly destroyed by the Pa. rocks and Screamer walked the last 30 miles into Deleware Warer Gap barefoot and there were a pair of boots in the hiker box at The Church of The Mountain that were only one size too small so he wore them after that. He would work for stay and work he did, When we got to the Mohegan Outdoor Center he had no money so he snuck into the bunk house and stayed there. The next morning he moved all the bunks, moved the kitchen furniture outside and completly washed and waxed the floors. When the caretaker got back from his day off it must have blown his mind. He did the same thing at the Episcopal Hostel in Vernon New Jersey. What little money he did have was from getting aluminum cans out of dumpsters in the south and selling them to recycling centers. He did pretty well at Trail Days. When he got to New York where they had a five cent can deposit Screamer had a little extra money because he picked up every can he found on or near the trail or in town. At the Vernon Hostel they gave him a new pair of wool hiking socks to show their appreciation for his work and that was the only thing I ever saw him accept where he didn't work to earn it. I got a little ahead of him before I got to Ct. and never saw Screamer again. I heard he injured his leg and went into a town to hole up until it healed. I heard he actually made it to Andover, Maine but winter moved in and he wasn't prepared and got a ride back to Gorham, N.H. where he finished his hike in 2000. I had a job waiting for him in Maine and he had my address and phone # but he never contacted me. I have heard he gets on the trail every year but I never saw him again. He was one of the nicest people I knew on the trail and his strange ways and the way he adapted his clever ways to thru hiking would fill a book. I will never forgert Screamer, they will never make another one like him, he was real, I have pictures to prove it and I miss him very much.i'd like to see those pics, i think i know this guy?

tlbj6142
08-12-2005, 09:26
http://www.couchsurfing.com/

Its a great service. My brother (not homeless or poor for that matter) has used it several times to get cheap (free) sleep-overs before hitting the trail, etc.

Hammock Hanger
08-12-2005, 09:48
http://www.couchsurfing.com/

Its a great service. My brother (not homeless or poor for that matter) has used it several times to get cheap (free) sleep-overs before hitting the trail, etc.
that's a cool site.

JP
08-12-2005, 10:15
[QUOTE=Jaybird]so.........how can you tell the difference between a thru-hiker & a vagrant?

The vagrant smells better !

Moxie00
08-12-2005, 23:05
i'd like to see those pics, i think i know this guy?I didn't have a digital camera so I'll try to scan a picture of Screamer and send it to you but I will need help as I am electronically challanged. Screamer is about six feet tall, unkept black hair and beard. Very dark eyes. He hikes in old tattered shorts and usually no shirt. If he weighs 125 pounds I would be amazed, skinny as a rail. He looks a little mad but is a real sweet person, and he often screams for no particular reason. I can understand why the cop put him on the trail. Screamer never hitch hiked but just walked along the road. He kept telling the Georgia cops he was just walking and one cop told him if he wanted to walk to New York there was a trail neatby that went there and if he walked it people wouldn't be calling the cops several times a day to report this strange wild screaming man that was walking past their house. I am sure Screamer must have scared many a mother and child before he was put on the trail, God knows, he scared plenty of female hikers after he got there but he was harmlessand a great guy once you got to know him.

Shroomism
08-21-2005, 19:59
I am homeless, by choice. Been living on the road for about a year. I sold my car to buy backpacking gear. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, and festivals.. I have friends all over the country and in several others, who have kindly given me love and shelter along the way. I've been from Virginia to Georgia to Florida to Tennessee to Indiana to Michigan to Ohio.

I plan on thru-hiking the trail next year, I wont have much money but I will get by. Grocery stores regularly throw away good food, and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of choice edible wild plants and mushrooms along the trail. The trail is what I need to do to find myself again.. I have no major obligations and I need to do something with my life, but I'm stuck in a rut mentally. I have problems communicating with and trusting people, and I sometimes have a self-defeating/apathetic/over-analyzing attitude. Clarity is what I seek and I think I can find it by putting myself to the endurance test.

Lilred
08-21-2005, 20:42
I am homeless, by choice. Been living on the road for about a year. I sold my car to buy backpacking gear. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, and festivals.. I have friends all over the country and in several others, who have kindly given me love and shelter along the way. I've been from Virginia to Georgia to Florida to Tennessee to Indiana to Michigan to Ohio.

I plan on thru-hiking the trail next year, I wont have much money but I will get by. Grocery stores regularly throw away good food, and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of choice edible wild plants and mushrooms along the trail. The trail is what I need to do to find myself again.. I have no major obligations and I need to do something with my life, but I'm stuck in a rut mentally. I have problems communicating with and trusting people, and I sometimes have a self-defeating/apathetic/over-analyzing attitude. Clarity is what I seek and I think I can find it by putting myself to the endurance test.

Good luck to you Shroomism, hope you get things worked out. You must be doing something right if you have so many friends willing to help you out. If I see you on the trail next year, I'll be happy to share a meal with you.

Crazy Larry #1
08-21-2005, 23:09
pm me shroomism when you get on the trail and i will help where i can.....but always be willing to work at any price someone offers you and be willing to do most any type of work....once people know you are willing to work for your own your reputation will preceed you...if not, your reputation will preceed you....it's up to you....

Shroomism
08-21-2005, 23:33
Oh yes I am always willing to work.. would never turn it down :)

DMA, 2000
08-22-2005, 00:11
I'll vouch for Moxie's stories. I heard many of them from the Scream Dude himself. We even talked about his shoe issues at that DWG hostel. According to him, you can ease blister pain through urination. I never tried it myself, but Moises Alou has had a pretty successful major league career treating his hands the same way.

I'll also second Moxie's evaluation of his character. He was a little weird...well, a lot weird, but I liked him. I'd trust him more than most people I know. And I know good people!

This thread is particularly interesting because I stayed with him at the Vernon, NJ hostel. We had some funny conversations there. It was there that he put into his place a less pleasant hiker (against whom Moxie still carries a grudge, eh?)