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  1. #21
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Yar- a true tale from the trail, as told to me by the Ol' Man. The Hero of Kent lived his final life in 2000, Lucky 10 in 2013. A good lesson learned from the Ol' Man- never be sad for a life well lived. Feel free to share it as you like, and raise a glass to all those that live.

  2. #22
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Default one last word from the ol' man...

    Let other’s write things on pieces of paper, and squirrel them away in some bucket. I say dump that bucket onto your kitchen table, sort through your scraps scrawled with dreams. Find one that you can make real, a waking dream. Put the rest in your pocket, so they are handy.

    Only the dead find life in their dreams, restlessly sleepwalking though eternity. Those that live, pass this world, and sleep in peace.
    Ol’ Man Willy

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Let other’s write things on pieces of paper, and squirrel them away in some bucket. I say dump that bucket onto your kitchen table, sort through your scraps scrawled with dreams. Find one that you can make real, a waking dream. Put the rest in your pocket, so they are handy.

    Only the dead find life in their dreams, restlessly sleepwalking though eternity. Those that live, pass this world, and sleep in peace.
    Ol’ Man Willy
    I suspect that Ol' Man Willy is a big part of you......
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  4. #24

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    Fiction aside, here is the real Hero of Kent: http://www.athikerpictures.org/hikers/12272 I hiked with him for a bit in the SNP. Good guy!

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by chief View Post
    Fiction aside, here is the real Hero of Kent: http://www.athikerpictures.org/hikers/12272 I hiked with him for a bit in the SNP. Good guy!
    I hope Lucky 10 gets remembered on his ATC photo too.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  6. #26

  7. #27
    Registered User Drybones'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.
    Great story, thanks for sharing. Although a little misty eyed, to me this isn't a sad story, just the opposite, Lucky accumulated something in this life to take with him and still lives on in the memories of those like you. IMO, the greatest achievememt one can achieve in this life is to be a blessing to someone else, sounds like Lucky did that.

  8. #28

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    Much to young to be moving on, RIP "Lucky 10"

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