[at-l] ALDHA Gathering 2010

giniajim jplynch at crosslink.net
Sun Oct 24 23:23:53 CDT 2010

*Finally* got around to reading Shelly's great report.  Thanks Shelly, I felt like I was there!  
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tenacious Tanasi 
  To: AT-L 
  Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 1:11 AM
  Subject: [at-l] ALDHA Gathering 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 later date.

  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 do...until now.....

  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.......

  Tenacious Tanasi 


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