[at-l] Finally!!! again.....

Frank Looper nightwalker.at at gmail.com
Wed Jan 5 10:40:08 CST 2011

Funny thing. Here's what I wrote:

Four bits full.

For you, Flix. ;-)
On Jan 5, 2011 8:45 AM, "Felix J" <AThiker at smithville.net> wrote:
> Twelve years ago this morning, three thru-hikers were nervously, quietly,
> loading their backpacks for the last time. Again, it was 5º or less.
> There were no lollies being gagged. I would occasionally ask if they
> intended on doing any yellow-blazing in the last 7.6 miles. They'd laff.
> There was an odd feeling in the air. The feeling that you are doing
> something for the last time, like loading a backpack, is bittersweet. We
> had loaded these backpacks every morning for 5 months. This was the last
> time. This was the last time.
> We left the shelter together. I was so glad that
> I'd slept with my boots in my bag with me. There were a couple of inches
> of dry snow on the ground. It was still cold. QP and I hiked in front.
> At some point, not far from the shelter, out of nowhere, there were
> footprints in the snow. This was confusing to me. They were going the
> same direction we were.
> I pulled away from the others a bit. As I got to Stover Creek, I caught
> the footprint-leaving hiker. He was doing something near Stover Creek
> that shouldn't be done near any creek. I, then the others, advised him
> of that. I honestly think he didn't know there was anything wrong with
> it. Lesson? You can always teach.
> This other guy had started a section hike and nearly made it to Hawk Mt.
> Shelter on his second night. He was within a quarter of a mile and said
> that he was feeling delirious. So, he pitched his tent. That is why his
> footprints seemed to come from nowhere. He had decided to cancel the
> rest of his trip and head back to Amicalola. (Did I mention that it was
> cold?) He hiked the rest of the way to Springer with me and the boyz.
> As we hiked, I'd yell stuff. I tried to count the 'tenths' in my head.
> So, when I thought we had about 6.5 miles to go, I'd yell "You got 6.5
> in ya?" They'd yell back that they did in some profanity-laced way.
> Then, I'd say "What is it? Give it to me!!!" And they'd say "6.4 baby".
> I know this sounds foolish now. At the time, it was humorously exciting.
> me, it is very exciting now, though. This went on all morning.
> When we got to FS 42, my friend and ride, Pittsburgh, was there with a
> warm van. .9 miles to go. Imagine that. .9 miles to go. (well, 1.8
> really.) QP and Windbraker ( a spelling that allowed me to ridicule
> Tennesseeans relentlessly.) decided to leave their packs in Pittsburgh's
> van (something else that allowed me to ridicule them relentlessly.)
> We crossed our last parking lot, then our last road. Every positive
> emotion, and two bad ones, were in the air. It was an incredible
> feeling. I still yelled out occasionally, and they'd yell back. "You got
> six tenths in ya, you slackpackin' bastards?"
> There it is. That rock there, 30 yards ahead. That rock is what I just
> spent 5 months and 5 days, thousands of dollars, and 2,160.3 miles
> walking to. "You're kidding?" No, no I'm not. With fists clinched and
> high over my head, I took my last steps to the rock. It looked just like
> I remembered it. It looked just like I wanted it to. A bent knee and a
> kiss and it was over. What had become my life, a wonderful life, was
> over with that kiss. That is something that doesnt' happen much in the
> secular world. Reaching a definite, visible end to an undertaking, an
> 'accomplishment', with a sign or plaque that says, in essence, "Either
> do it again, or do something else. This one's done."
> What does that mean? I don't know. But that's what happens.
> I was surprised how much I enjoyed having QP and Windbraker there. It
> was wonderful to have someone else that had experienced the same things
> there with me. Our hugs were earned, deserved. I took the register from
> the rock. I sat down and started to write my entry. I had thought about
> this entry for over two months. I was going to write an open letter to
> those that had a profound affect on my life. My parents, my brother, my
> ex-wife, Elmer, Scooter, Lizzie, a few other randoms here and there,
> Patch, Groovin' Moose, Luke and Jane, Sundown...Pokey and Stoat...I was
> going to write something to each of them explaining what they meant to me.
> Here is what I wrote:
> 1/5/99
> Your Move
> Felix J. McGillicuddy
> ME -->GA '98
> I then drew the faces of my three cats (Elmer, Lizzie and Scooter) and
> a paw print. I had done this at the end of every entry (for years).
> There is a picture that was taken seconds before this happened at:
> http://members.tripod.com/~Felixhikes/AT/theone1.jpg
> God, what a thru-hike I had.
> When I got home, I ate ice cream...and I still do...
> --
> Felix J. McGillicuddy
> ME-->GA '98
> "Your Move"
> ALT '03 KT '03
> http://Felixhikes.tripod.com/
> _______________________________________________
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> at-l at backcountry.net
> http://mailman.backcountry.net/mailman/listinfo/at-l
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