[at-l] Hopeful update

Cody Girl codycodygirl at gmail.com
Thu Apr 14 20:24:42 CDT 2011

Ya smell like hiker trash to me Fat Man.  Say how doo to GG for me.

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 8:03 PM, Ofahoma <ofahoma at aol.com> wrote:

> Tenacious, you are one hell of a writer. I related so well to the
> "spooning' you described with your hubby. Girly Girl (my wife) and I do
> the same but, alas, our child bearing years are behind us. But, I have
> convinced her to join me for an overnighter on my section this year.
> So, who knows? Could be the start of a beautiful hiking relationship,
> 33 years into a marriage.
> I am starting my annual section this year at Delaware Water Gap in late
> June. I hope that I get to meet Hopeful. I have heard and read so much
> about him. I enjoyed my time with the thrus last year. Right Cody?
> Peace and "There's a Fat Man in the Bath Tub with the Blues."
> Fat Man Walking
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sara Wilson <kyvcat at aol.com>
> To: Tenacious Tanasi <tenacious_tanasi at yahoo.com>
> Cc: AT-L <at-l at backcountry.net>
> Sent: Thu, Apr 14, 2011 4:54 pm
> Subject: Re: [at-l] Hopeful update
> Thanks for that great report. I'm so glad Hopeful is doing so well and
> having such a good time. All this just sounds like a typical Hopeful
> story. I can't wait to see him when he gets up into our neck of the
> woods. Sounds like he's making good time too.
> Vcat
> On Apr 14, 2011, at 11:56 AM, Tenacious Tanasi wrote:
> Yesterday after getting off from work, I arrived home and began cooking
> dinner.  Michael arrived shortly thereafter, and we chatted about our
> day as our meal was finishing up.  Then we went out on the front porch
> to eat.  Michael stated that he was glad to have a relaxing evening at
> home (keep this comment in mind ...  :).
> After dinner we relaxed in the swing while he had called his step mom,
> Connie, who is in the hospital for having her foot and lower leg
> amputated.  While he spoke to her I pulled out my cell and was browsing
> through fb... when what to my wondering eyes did appear?!  A post
> that a couple of Trail Angels (Ox and Squirrel Friend) were headed up
> to Mt Collins Shelter to surprise Hopeful with some birthday cupcakes.
> Now this whole story actually began way back in 1999 when Ox and
> Hopeful met at Stecoah Gap.  They had both arrived there to do Trail
> Magic for hikers... and a fast friendship was formed.  Both have a deep
> revere of the mountains and devout love for keeping trails maintained
> so that folks could get out there and enjoy the trails meandering
> through nature providing soul rejuvenating experiences.
> And, thus began joint treks to do trail maintenance and magic for
> hikers in celebration of not only hikers but also of their deep
> friendship.  They began doing trail magic annually at Browns Gap
> together.  At some point along the way Ox learned that Hopeful's
> birthday was April 15 which was typically around the time that they did
> the Browns Gap magic.
> In 2003 Hopeful began his own trek up the Appalachian Trail fulfilling
> a long time dream....only he forgot to tell Ox that he wasn't going to
> be there at Browns Gap to do their annual trail magic... he'd be there
> to receive it this time as a thru hiker!  However, that year it came a
> horrible snow storm and the going was slow and rough through the
> Smokies.  Hopeful had had one issue or another and it was taking him
> longer than what he would have wanted.  After not seeing Hopeful at
> Browns Gap, Ox had learned that Hopeful was on the trail and was
> somewhere in the Smokies.  So, he had a huge cake baked up and headed
> up to Newfound Gap to try to catch Hopeful to surprise him for his
> birthday.
> Ox shoveled out a spot at Newfound Gap parking lot and set up his
> canopy to await Hopeful.... for 2 days he went back and he waited... as
> other hikers came through they partook of Hopeful's wonderful birthday
> cake and Ox's trail magic in honor of him.  But, Ox never saw Hopeful
> who was socked in at Derrick Knob shelter.  For the next month as
> Hopeful went up the trail he met more and more people that thanked him
> for his birthday cake and told him how wonderful his birthday
> celebration had been. Poor Hopeful... he had missed it all.
> So, yesterday after Ox had gotten home from work as he and Squirrel
> Friend were enjoying their supper, they discussed Hopeful's birthday...
> and Connie made the comment that it was a shame that they couldn't
> surprise him for his birthday....and Ox said... well why not?!  So off
> they went!  When Connie made the post on fb I asked Michael if he'd
> like to do some trail magic... he said sure what weekend... wish you
> could have seen his face when I told him right then!  It was around
> 7:30 pm!  LOL
> We grabbed coats, headlamps, a pack, stuffed some of my home made
> chocolate chip cookies into a freezer bag, and out the door we went.
> We stopped to pick up some milk and cups (cuz what is birthday cupcakes
> without milk?  lol), and zipped over to the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
> There we jumped into Ox's GMC and off we went up the mountain.  And,
> anyone that has ever ridden with Ox knows... just close your eyes and
> pray til it is over.  I think Michael was OK until we slid around that
> one curve.  LOL!!!
> We pulled in at the roadside parking along Clingman's Dome access road,
> and up the trail we went.  This is the first time I have been out
> hiking in several months due to the pregnancy, but it was only 0.6 of a
> mile.  Ox said that it really wasn't that bad, and so I wasn't worried
> about it.  But, Lawdy have mercy!  I was quickly out of breath and my
> 4th month of pregnancy suddenly felt like the 9th!  The baby weighed a
> ton and was pulling me forward.  A little ways on up the trail I
> settled into the walk, but I had to shed my fleece jacket and got down
> to my t-shirt because I was so hot.  I threatened to get down to my
> bra, but Michael wouldn't hear of it.  LOL
> The 45ish degree cold air was absolutely wonderful against my skin, and
> even in the dark the trail was gorgeous!  The smell of the rich, loamy
> earth drifted on the breeze with a hint of pine.  And water trickled
> along the trail, sparkling in the light of our headlamps.  Overheard
> the clouds glowed like opals against the star studded backdrop of the
> night sky.  Oh, how I have missed this so!
> Ox and Squirrel Friend had gone on ahead, but waited at trail junctions
> to show us the way to the Mt Collins Shelter.  They arrived before we
> did, and Ox came hiking back up toward us.  He told me that the shelter
> was vacant and no one was there... then promptly burst out laughing at
> the looks on our faces.  lol
> We walked over to the shelter where as you could very well guess all of
> the hikers were very much asleep...including Hopeful.  Ox ventured into
> the shelter and after waking a few found Hopeful in the very back.
> lol  Very quickly we were joined outside by some of them and then a
> very joyful Hopeful hiker ran out with a wonderful look of awe on his
> bearded face.  It was hugs and handshakes all around, and then everyone
> dug into the cupcakes and milk.
> We hung out for a little while with them, and then headed back out so
> they could get some rest.  The walk back out was OK for me except for a
> couple of big step downs that jarred my belly a little.  I could tell
> that I was tired though because my feet were dragging all the way back
> out.  This certainly wasn't our evening walk down at the school track
> which is level and we typically do 2-3 miles at a time.  And, Michael
> fussed over me making me take his headlamp because mine was a little
> dimmer...while I joked he needed a stronger light because he was
> farther from the ground than I was.  LOL
> As we settled down in bed together after 11:00 pm, Michael wrapped his
> long body around mine hugging me back into his broad chest with one
> hand laying on my belly.  With his breath gently blowing in my ear, he
> chuckled softly to himself.  "And, here I thought we were going to have
> a relaxing evening at home tonight," he said.  "You know, Love, since
> you have come into my life, there has not been a single dull moment."
> I smiled to myself so deliriously happy...and promptly fell asleep
> exhausted.  :)
> Hopeful was hiking the short distance over to Newfound Gap to meet Mrs.
> Hopeful where she was picking him up this morning for some time
> together.  As there is a huge Rod Run in Pigeon Forge this weekend, we
> advised them to go to the North Carolina side of the mountain.
> Hopeful looks really, really good.  He seems to be hiking stronger this
> year than he did in 2003, and he seems to be enjoying himself much,
> more I think.  On his trail journal the first entry is entitled "Some
> People Never Change".  I think that Hopeful has changed though... his
> love of the trail and people is deeper... he is hiking stronger... and
>  from talking to those on the trail he spreads joy, cheer, and hope to
> those hiking around him.
> You can follow along with Hopeful's AT journey on his Trail Journal.  I
> have always enjoyed reading Hopeful's
> writings.  http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=11473
> Tenacious Tanasi
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