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  1. #1
    Registered User John B's Avatar
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    Default You couldn't pay me enough...

    ... to put up with this. I've never met her, but Miss Janet must be a saint.

    From Trailjournals:

    "April 16, 2006

    I got out of Erwin and Miss Janet's house this afternoon and am glad to be in the woods again. Miss Janet is a terrific lady and lives up to her reputation but I met her and was at her house on the wrong day. Like yesterday, the place was in a frenzy when I just wanted some peace. A few other folks felt the same way. Most enjoyed the to-do. I'm not complaining and won't complain. We're hiking our own hikes. My hike is better when I relax quietly with a few people.


    I bounced from room to room in the house not really getting comfortable anywhere and just waiting for the dinner bell. Her front porch is nice but squirrel was holding court hooting at the girls leaving the church across the street after Easter services. No class. Miss Janet's backyard is nice but Baltimore Jack was holding court out there blasting the same Springsteen and Johnny Cash and sucking down Jim Beam. On the AT he's considered a legend. He may be. A legend and an obnoxious middle aged drunk. Three cheers. I kept wondering why I hadn't hiked out with Jet Wash and Bear Can. We were all of similar minds. Really it was only because Miss Janet vented her frustration on me personally.

    I can't say the food wasn't amazing. There were 37 people in line for the Roast and plenty left over. She and her daughter and a team of hikers, Caboose included, spent 2 days preparing. There was a ham, a turkey, piles of sweet potatoes, sides and gravy and sauces. I went through the line just once and still had no room for dessert.

    I headed to McDonald's this morning for cheap breakfast. She sent me out with $30 to buy sausage biscuit sandwiches for all the cooks. She has class. She also shuttled a bunch of us to the grocery store for resupply. After dinner she shuttled those of us leaving to the trailhead.
    The good thing about stay was making contact with folks from the trail. I was glad to spend time with Natty Bo, Parkay, Long Haul, Houey, and lots of others. Irish, Handle Bar, Double Shot and Supersize all showed up from the trail as did Dinosaur and several others from the campground fire. Still, I would have preferred a lazy day.

    The 4 mile hike up to Curly Maple flew by. Four miles now feels like nothing. A 20 miler to Clyde Smith Shelter tomorrow is not out of the question. I would like to keep up with the guys I'm with now for a while. Tonight's shelter group includes Long Haul, Don Quixote, Houey and ---. Old School and New Day, a couple I've only seen in the registers are also here. The few miles hiked and fireside conversation were a good remedy for the stress of forced merriment of the day. I can never say anything bad about Miss Janet. She loves and is devoted to hikers. When she dropped us at the trail gave me a hug and thanked me for sticking around. Hugs for everyone.
    Frustration's building for me and I have to make some changes. I love this trip and its experiences but I'm also feeling stifled. I usually feel quite free to be myself but I have been hiding my light under a bushel. Fag jokes and bashing are just everyday routine for most of these folks, even ones I like. But there is such an undertone of animosity it's surprising. I haven't experienced attitude this strong since junior high. I'm pretty pissed at myself for not either speaking up or just moving on. I'm kind of an observer behind a wall and it's really getting me down and keeping me from engaging. Some like a solitary hike. I like the social aspect and want to connect with more people. It's kind of a double edged sword and not like me at all to let things build up.

    Time to make a few changes and get more out of my hike. It's creepy to even admit these things. I love this experience as a whole, but it's time to take charge and get what I'm missing. All in all, interesting as it's been, I consider my visit to Miss Janet's an unexpected failure. Closing the book on this chapter. " http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=133210

  2. #2
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    She is a saint. A great person to meet, she will always do you right, and she will tell you her mind if she feels it is needed - but with class and tact.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  3. #3

    Default

    Geez, what a nice post. Perhaps folks who want peace and quiet or "lazy days" shouldn't stay at popular places, eh? And if they realize a holiday meal and party is being planned with over 50 folks expected, maybe they might want to go someplace quieter, if in fact, it really troubled them.

    And as for hating crowds, this didn't seem to curb his enthusiasm for sticking around for the Easter dinner....I guess it's OK to put up with lines and crowds and lots of folks if you're getting lots of cool free stuff.....which incidentally, I helped prepare and serve, tho I don't recall getting a word of thanks from J.B.

    As for the music, the artists in question were indeed on frequently, and on many occasions it was other folks who put them on. People who wanted to hear something else or who didn't care for the tunes should have said something at the time.

    In short, it's obvious that some folks are determined to be whiny and unhappy no matter what they find on the Trail. A guy shows up at the Trail's most popular hiker hostel, is treated royally by the proprietor, is fed (for free) til he's fit to bust, and then stalks out bitching about the atmosphere of "forced merriment" he had to endure,

    For this guy, I predict an abbreviated or lonely hike.

    Oh, and if I end up taking in, putting up, and feeding a hundred-odd hikers in Hanover, as we did last summer, John is free to go find someplace less hectic. Perhaps he'd enjoy a "lazy day" at the Hanover Inn.......for only around $215.00 a night. And he can take his friends with him, if he has any.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John B
    .... Her front porch is nice but squirrel was holding court hooting at the girls leaving the church across the street after Easter services. No class.
    Miss Janet has done some good work to try and get the residents of Erwin to understand and embrace the hiking community. Unfortunately, all it takes is one knucklehead to undo all her hard work. If the above is true, that kind of behavior is shameful.

  5. #5

    Default

    Whoops.

    The guy who contributed the lovely comments about Janet in his journal is named "Boulder."

    My apologiers to Whiteblaze poster John B who was merely passing this commentary along for us to see.

  6. #6

    Default

    Interesting thread.
    John B. - over the last fifteen years I have seen a change in the overall social atmosphere of the trail. There has been a steady increase of 'partiers' especially in the southern section in the spring. There seems to be a high percentage of these partiers that feel the their 'trail experience' is more important than completing the whole trail. The growing cynicism, defensiveness, sarcasm and mean-spiritedness of a few vocal internet posters only add to the loss of respect and civility I have seen on the trail. However, there are still many long distance hikers out there who are courteous, friendly and helpful and are having a good time without needing artificial substances. They have fun and are adventurous but still have the discipline and tenacity to complete their task. Fortunately there still is enough space for us all on the trail, but not in shelters, designated campsites or hostels in town.
    My advice to those northbounders who are truly interested in completely the whole trail is to avoid as many hostels/shelters/designated campsites as possible in the spring down south.
    Warren Doyle PhD
    34,000-miler (and counting)
    [email protected]
    www.warrendoyle.com

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by warren doyle
    Interesting thread.
    John B. - over the last fifteen years I have seen a change in the overall social atmosphere of the trail. There has been a steady increase of 'partiers' especially in the southern section in the spring. There seems to be a high percentage of these partiers that feel the their 'trail experience' is more important than completing the whole trail. The growing cynicism, defensiveness, sarcasm and mean-spiritedness of a few vocal internet posters only add to the loss of respect and civility I have seen on the trail. However, there are still many long distance hikers out there who are courteous, friendly and helpful and are having a good time without needing artificial substances. They have fun and are adventurous but still have the discipline and tenacity to complete their task. Fortunately there still is enough space for us all on the trail, but not in shelters, designated campsites or hostels in town.
    My advice to those northbounders who are truly interested in completely the whole trail is to avoid as many hostels/shelters/designated campsites as possible in the spring down south.
    Whoopsie! Here we go!

  8. #8
    Doting Membrane Skidsteer's Avatar
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    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=116946

    Talk about ironic. Turns out this fellow is a librarian.
    Skids

    Insanity: Asking about inseams over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)

  9. #9
    ECHO ed bell's Avatar
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    I would advise people wanting a quiet, peaceful hike to avoid posting an online journal that calls people out. Bad form. I've heard of several hikers catching quite a bit of grief over journal entries. I'm sure this thread ain't gonna die anytime soon. Unfortunate.
    That's my dog, Echo. He's a fine young dog.

  10. #10
    Registered User John B's Avatar
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    Default

    My only point for posting this excerpt from this hiker's journal is not to say that one hiker or group of hikers is out of line, but instead it really made me appreciate Miss Janet (whom I've never met) and all of the others who operate hostels and open their houses to hikers. I've never had 37 people in my house before and I'm sure that I wouldn't want to. Much less trying to feed everyone, give rides to everyone to the grocery or laundry or trail or wherever, act as a trail mom to those who need a pat on the back (or a swift kick in the butt depending on the need), and then having people wandering about "from room to room" in my house.

    I've read several journals from hikers who have been sick and they stayed at her house until they were better (everything from the flu to stress fractures), and everyone said that she was genuinely concerned about their well-being and made certain that they were OK before they left.

    So hats off to Miss Janet and all the others who go out of their way to help. They do things that most of us couldn't handle.

  11. #11
    GA-->ME 2005 MacGyver2005's Avatar
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    Default

    Miss Janet is amazing, that is certain. My father and I got there as it was packed full last year. We could have slept on the couch, but being somewhat similar to the guy in the journal, we were not in the mood to be in amongst such a "freshman dorm" atmosphere. We went to the Super 8 (I think) down the street instead...and Miss Janet even drove us there and picked us up the following morning to shuttle us! I hold nothing against this guy; he just posted how he felt. Everyone wants to blast hime for writing in his own journal, and I think that is contradictory to the point of journaling.

    Regards,
    -MacGyver
    GA-->ME

  12. #12
    Registered User Auntie Mame's Avatar
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    Default

    I, too, question the value of pulling anyone's entries out for evaluation. The comments John B. made belong in a personal exchange. TJ's is different from WB. This is a public forum. That is a collection of personal accounts. In TJ's, I look up and follow what I want to read. On this forum, criticism about the content in Trailjournal journal entries feels offensive in the extreme.
    "Live, Agnes, LIVE!"

  13. #13
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    Default

    Things like this are why I am really starting to like the late SOBO start. I'll see people, but I will not see the masses of people at once the NOBO's do.

    Hopefully Miss Janet's will still be running by the time I make it down there.

  14. #14

    Default

    Wildernut:

    Actually, you're quite wrong.

    Remarks made on the Internet on a publicly accessed site (such a trip journal) are fair game for public comment. If you slag a place or person on the Internet, the you leave yourself open to similar comments from those who might disagree with you.

    What is "offensive in the extreme" is to visit a Trail establishment, take advantage of the many things that are offered there, and then go on-line bleating and whining about what a horrible time he had there.

    And in regard to Mr. Doyle's advice about avoiding hostels down south, I find this pretty amusing in that several southern hostel proprietors have made it very clear to me and others exactly how they feel about Mr. Doyle and the prospect of having him in their establishments. Telling folks to shun places where he himself is manifestly unwelcome, is pretty damned funny.

  15. #15

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    Erwin has more facilites for hikers than just about any other town on the trail, UJ's, Holiday Inn, Super 8, Nolichucky CG, The Southern, Clayton's and Miss Janet's. Certainly he could have found peace in another, why did this guy pick the most popular not to complain?

    Personal attacks in journals aren't cool either.

  16. #16

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    jack, what's really funny is hearing you criticize warren for being unwelcome anyplace. if you're going to stand around swigging jim beam and being all loud and obnoxious at a hostel, it's really not surprising that someone is annoyed, is it?

  17. #17
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Well just a personal thought on going to places listed as popular hostels. If you want peace and quiet and some privacy, then you should probably get a hotel room. Dealing with other people and meeting crowds (especially at popular sites) is a part of what you get. If you are already having problems dealing with others (as it appears may be the case based on a public journal) then going somewhere that you are guaranteed to be in a crowd of other people would be the last place to go - unless you are looking for more stuff to feel bad about.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by John B
    Her front porch is nice but squirrel was holding court hooting at the girls leaving the church across the street after Easter services. No class.
    This is the kind of thing that causes hostels to stop providing services.

    Out of 50 odd hikers why didn't sometime tell this bozo to shut up?

    Why didn't Miss J remove this guy from the premises?

    If you are in a hostel and someone is not following the posted rules of the house then call them on it! You'll be doing all the hikers that follow a favor.

  19. #19

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    Out of 50 odd hikers why didn't sometime tell this bozo to shut up?
    Better still why didn't the moron that wrote about it in his journal tell "squirell" to behave and end it there instead of not complaining.

  20. #20

    Default More vintage whine.....

    Hey Mingo, considering YOU are famous here for your whining, carping, bitching, and constant complaining (for example, you recent rant about Ridgerunners), it doesn't strike me as surprising you're so quick to defend other whiners.

    Geez, you guys should form a union or something, or maybe you can become a new politically correct hyphenate, like Whiner-American or something.

    And maybe you can find somewhere you can all stay. Together. You guys would no doubt be happy bunking away from everyone else.

    And that happiness works both ways, believe me.

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