[at-l] ALDHA Gathering 2010
tenacious_tanasi at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 19 00:11:26 CDT 2010
We got a late start out on Friday night. Michael had tests he had to complete
in his Police annual training that ran a little late. So, we didn't get to
Nostalgia Inn (http://www.nostalgiainn.com/ ) until almost 1 am.
Yes, some of you may snicker, and I even giggle a little about it. We did in
fact stay in a Bed & Breakfast at a hiker function. You see, Michael has
spent a lot of time in the military and has slept on the bare, hard, cold
ground, in sand, muck, & mudd, and he doesn't any more unless he wants to.
(Which he only wants to when he's out hiking! lol) He even one time slept on
the back of an Abrams Tank diesel exhaust vent to keep warm. I don't recall if
that was when he was stationed in Germany or was in Desert Storm.
(http://science.howstuffworks.com/m1-tank.htm) At any rate he joked that there
was no reason to waste a perfectly warm, comfortable, king size bed that was
just down the road. LOL (At least he didn't go in carrying a real mattress
like he did at Trail Days a couple of years ago! hehehehe!!!)
The Inn was very nice, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are ever in the
area I highly recommend staying with Jim & Ellie. If the Gathering is held at
Concord in a couple of years, we will definitely be going back to the Nostalgia
Inn. Jim is a fabulous chef whose Mexican eggs are out of this world! :) We
lingered a little over breakfast chatting with 4 other couples who are alumni of
Concord College and were there for Homecoming. They shared stories of growing
up in the area and gave us several tips of where to go, what to see, and do. We
do plan to go back and explore the state park and gorge area further at some
Off to Concord we went! We had barely gotten on the sidewalk when we were
stopped for a chat....and I didn't stop talking for the rest of the day! LOL
Thank goodness for such a wonderful, rock solid man coming into my life. I had
such a wonderful time with my husband this weekend. He is such a strong man who
holds me to him with his open heart. He not only waited patiently (which is a
long stretch for his ADD self! lol) while I chatted the weekend away, but he
gladly joined into the conversations. I have to say that I think he was a
little nervous meeting my true family... the majority for the first time. :)
When we did finally make it to the campus, it was to find the classes in full
swing. We were trying to make it to a couple of them, but we kept getting
stopped by folks whom I haven't seen in a while. I have definitely been remiss
in keeping track of my Hiking family. I've just had so much personal garbage
going on that I've really withdrawn from a lot of things and people of late.
And, I discovered just how much I have really REALLY missed everyone!
After many wonderful huggles, hand shakes, congratulations on our marriage, well
wishes, invites for hikes, and general chatter; we discovered we'd almost missed
the morning's classes! Yikes! We hustled off to a great presenation on the
IAT. Sitting there beside Michael watching him take in the presentation, I
could see that little light beginning to form in his eyes. :))
After the presentation was over, we hurried over to the cafeteria. There I saw
RedHat, Bodacious and a couple of others from the class of 2010 who invited us
to sit with them. Of course if you know Bodacious, you know that between him
and Kathy we were in stitches the whole meal listening to their tales of the
trail this year. I wubs my RedHat!!! I would have given anything to have hiked
with her this year! :)
Then I spied Jim & Ginny Owens across the way. It was so very awesome to see
the two of them! Off we were for more hugs, handshakes, and gabbing!
Jim & Ginny, we definitely need to get together at some point away from the
hiker get togethers where we can just sit and chat! Or go for a hike! :))
Lunch seemed to simply fly by we were having so much fun! We stopped several
times to talk to folks like Weather Carrot, Laces, Marta Clark, One Pint, etc,
but there just wasn't enough time in the weekend to catch up with everyone. I
pointed out folks like Sunset, Rock Dancer, Chase, Bayou, Sgt Rock, Sly and so
many others but by the time we turned around they were gone! I was broken
hearted! So, if you were there, and I missed you, then you have an IOU for a
free huggle next time we meet! :)
There were sooooo many choices for classes and presentations this year that we
couldn't hardly decide what to go to. But, Michael has never had the
opportunity to hear Baltimore Jack speak, so we jumped into his presentation for
prospective thru hikers. He really enjoyed it! And, that little light in his
eyes started to shine a little brighter. :)))
After that we went to see Jester's movie "Wizards of the PCT". In the hallway
we ran into sweet Laces whom I haven't seen in a couple of years. Walking
around the corner chatting together, we ran into THE Miss Janet, who if you
don't know by now, has proclaimed that she will be heading out on a thru hike
this next year setting off from Springer in February. Of course, I had to rib
her about it because she has always stated that she is NOT a thru hiker of any
sort. LOL Yeah... right. ;) I bet she has the best thru hike any of us
could dream of. :)
I have to tell you that I just love Jester's sense of humor! The film was
awesome! And, after watching it... the little light in Michael's eyes was a
flame burning out of control.... and Springer Fever had hit him full on! I have
to giggle about it because I've tried most inadequately to put it into words
several times just what that is, but he has never truly understood. Yes, he
loves to go hiking, but he might not have had the burning passion for it as I
As we stood to leave, he turned to me and told me that I had better get ready
because when he retires from the military we're going on several long hikes! We
were so excited we bought new maps from the ATC store and began talking about
sections, weekends, and holidays!!! We've decided that as soon as we can
finalize our gear then we're going to start section hiking beginning down at
Springer Mountain! Yays!!!
While we were at the Hiker Fair we caught up with TinMan, Lightheart (and her
wonderful hubby), Model T, AWOL, and a few others.
Judy, words can not adequately express... thank you.
Again, we got caught up in catching up with everyone, sharing stories, and
having a wonderful time. After scoring some new books, kitchen set, and samples
we took off for the student center and dinner in the cafeteria. There we sat
and chatted with Laces, TinMan and a couple of gentlemen I have now forgotten
the names of (Sorry!)
Off we went to the Arts center to watch "Trail Angel" by Daniel Peddle. I
suppose I was a little skeptical at first because it seems everyone is always
making a movie of the AT. This one was really special though... seeing Miss
Janet's House brought me to tears. Remembering how being able to escape to that
home of so many kept me from going insane that year... goodness but it shook me
to my bones just how much I have missed the hiking community.
My sister, Rosalyn aka GADawg stopped by with her BF, Roger, after Bridge Day on
their way home to say hello. Something sad had happened between us, and we let
it tear our friendship apart. Isn't it amazing what an apology will do between
friends? I was so very glad to see her, and happy to see that friendship
starting to be rekindled.
With the movie over we headed over to the Folklife Center to a wonderful mini
concert by Jan Benschop playing guitar. And, while I truly enjoyed the "Trail
Angels" movie... I really hated that I missed Dutch Treat and TinMan playing
guitar together. Drat it all!!! There is absolutely nothing like a live
show!!! Alas, George was a bit beat after playing for a couple of hours, and so
he went to retire for the evening. Jan surprised us by grabbing his guitar back
up and playing some wonderful music!
When Jan and his wonderful wife Linda headed off to catch some Zzzz's, Michael
and I headed up to the bonfire. There we caught back up with Weather Carrot.
WC and I carried on a great conversation as we always do! I love ya, WC! When
I had introduced him to Michael in the cafeteria at lunch earlier in the day it
was as my brother. And, he truly is...the brother I wished I could have grown
up with. We may have been born of different parents in different places of the
world, but our conversations and philosophical musings have made us siblings in
this Tribe. What was even more interesting was to be able to witness the
exchange of thoughts between WC and Michael... a flame-haired, gypsy man and a
flat topped police/military man... from totally different worlds... exchanging
thoughts on ways of life and society...so very different and yet at the very
core so much alike. How fascinating!!!
Well after midnight we crawled into bed exhausted.
Sunday morning after hugging Ellie & Jim farewell, we skipped what would have
been a most amazing breakfast at the B&B to get on down to the college.
The friction and tension was palpable in the auditorium during some parts of the
meeting... and it left one to wonder what happened at the Steering Committee
meeting later on that day. Politics aside, even though there were only a couple
hundred folks in attendance it was still such an amazing weekend.
After the group photo, trip to the ATC store, we found ourselves back over at
the cafeteria...this time saying our farewells...so sadly so... and then we
slipped out of the student center with me in tears. I didn't want to tell my
family bye. Seeing Miss J right before I walked out those doors certainly
didn't help matters... because, of course, we started talking about our
girls....... our children have made us sisters by heart over the years.
Jessica, Autumn, Kaitlin, Mandalyn, Jerrica, and Heaven... may you worry over
your children as we have ours. :)
Out in the car I cried as our whirlwind weekend came to an end. Michael
squeezed, kissed, then held my hand and drove through town.......
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