Monday, March 29, 2010

Whatever happened to....?

Occasionally, I get messages from hikers I've met in years past, who sometimes seem even crazier than I am. For instance, earlier this year, I got a message from Rubberband Man. He shows up multiple times in my Appalachian Trail adventures, and we hit it off great on the trail. He's originally from Texas, though, and I guess the AT wasn't big enough for him, because he decided to hike what he calls the Texas Perimeter Hike. You won't find this hike listed in any guidebooks, because he made it up himself. He decided he wanted to see his native state in a way nobody else has before--by hiking around its perimeter.

By his estimate, the hike will end up being even longer than the Appalachian Trail--by a pretty large margin, no less. And much of it appears to be road walking. After my time in Florida and Alabama, I have a new appreciation of the horrors of road walking. To imagine him doing over 3,000 miles of this type of hiking.... *shaking head* He's got to be certifiably insane. But then, everyone says that about me, so I guess I'm just calling the kettle black. =) If he does manage to finish--and I think there's a very good chance he will--I'll certainly be impressed with the feat. So far as he knows, he's the only person to ever attempt hiking around the perimeter of Texas. (Which begs the question, why has nobody ever thought to try this before? I rest my case....)

In my defense, my long distance hikes have never tread new ground. Oh, sure, are there probably less than a hundred people in the entire world who have hiked the entire distance from Key West to Springer Mountain, but technically speaking, it's a heavily trodden trail compared to the Texas Perimeter Hike.

This afternoon, I got message from Warren. I met Warren while hiking the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama. He was a geocacher, searching for geocaches on his way to Springer Mountain. I hadn't heard from or seen him since that night in the shelter, so I was rather surprised at the e-mail today. He told me that he ended up hiking all the way to Katahdin--quite a bit further than his original goal of Springer Mountain! He also included a link to his website, and it turns out he's been quite busy and far more crazy than I ever would have imagined.

After hiking to Katahdin, he got a bike and rode it back to Alabama! After getting back home, I guess he got bored rather quickly, because then he bought a kayak to go down the 631-mile Alabama River Scenic Trail, then turned around and kayaked the 631 miles back upstream. According to this news report of the event, he'll be the first person to have ever kayaked down and back up the entire length of the river scenic trail. Perhaps not quite as crazy as Rubberband Man--who invented his own trail from scratch--at least this guy is following a trail someone else laid down. (Even if nobody had ever actually kayaked the distance in both directions before.)

Is that enough for him? Of course now.... Now he's planning a round-the-country bicycle trip. I've actually had a rather vague goal to someday bicycle from Seattle, to San Diego, to Key West, to Maine (somewhere in Maine--not sure where), then back to Seattle again. Not quite the same route this guy has planned, but scary similar none-the-less. =)

And it makes me wonder.... what other crazy people will I meet when I do my thru-hike the of PCT? If there's one thing I'm certain of, at least some of the people will actually be crazier than me. ;o)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This Can't Be Good....

I picked up an issue of The Onion this afternoon, my favorite source for unbiased news, and my horoscope reads: Your life will soon be divided into Pre-Angering-Of-The-Ants and Post-Angering-Of-The-Ants eras.

The reason for my concern is that I don't have any plans to even cross paths with ants, and I keep thinking, the trail--what if I cross paths with ants on the trail? I've seen ants while hiking before. Most of the time, they seem pretty docile, but what if I accidentally trip over a bunch of them? What if they become angry that I ate all of my food rather than leaving scraps on the ground? Have I not given enough consideration about ants during my hike?

I don't know, but it sounds ominous. Then I thought, no.... it's Wassa. Wassa must have hacked The Onion. It's the only logical explanation. *shaking head*