[at-l] Pity

Felix J AThiker at smithville.net
Sun Jul 10 06:53:21 CDT 2011

This is why I didn't and don't keep a journal:
(This is from Maine in '98. Sorta at the request of someone. )

(I pity the b****** that has to try to read this)

The Journey Begins

Plain and simply, the easiest 4000' climb over boulders, loose rock, above
tree line and up hand-over-hand scrambles I've ever done.  Also the most
incredible piece of stone I've ever seen, possibly excluding Mt. McKinley.

Tontoe is no more:
Tontoe's thru-hike began, unfortunately, at tree-line on Katahdin.  The
mountain chewed her up and spit her out.  Physically, she is quite capable.
  Her fear of high, open places got the best of her.  In a very emotional,
teary scene, she turned back at the re-barred section of the climb.  Since
that time, she has grown more than she had in the previous 3 years
combined.  She is crossing bog bridges and rock-hopping streams without
slowing down.  Those same streams would have had her crawling a week ago.
Her confidence is soaring.  She is a very good hiker, or at least has that
potential.  Last night she dropped 'Tontoe' and became 'Pokey Hontas.'

Quotes of the Week:
1. "I don't want one of those things in my face all day."
2. "Using one of those things pretending to be real bait."

Runner-Up Conversation of the Week:
(Talking to some hikers I thought were thruhikers, trying to find out what
they're really doing)
Me, to Him: How far have you hiked?
Him: I don't know.  Maybe a hundred miles counting hitchhiking.  Maybe not
counting hitch hiking.
Me: How long you been out?
Him: 3 months.
Her: Since the 20th.
Me: Of what?
Her: July.
Him: Yeah.

Conversation of the Week:
Tontoe (at the time) thought our daily hike total was going to be 8 miles.
This ensued:
Tontoe: How far are we hiking today?
Me: About 11 miles.
Tontoe: Well, that ruins my plan.
Me: What plan?
Tontoe: My plan of hiking only 8 miles.


the saga continues...

Week 2

I'm now lying in a stinking tent next to Vaugn Stream.  Everything we have
stinks of 11 days of trail life.  We are both excited about Monson and food
and Shaw's tomorrow.  Pokey Hontas has finally gotten an appetite.  I was

Pokey Hontas' Revenge:
Last week, Katahdin was the opponent.  Katahdin won.  This week, Chairback
Mtn.  Miss Hontas climbed the hand-over-hand boulder scramble, talking
jibberish the whole way.  When she got to the top, she said "WOW!" 10 times
in a row.  She was feeling good, and rightfully proud.  She talked about it
all evening (an evening spent on a secluded West Chairback Pond by
ourselves).  After she got to the top, I could hear her saying, in a Mr. T
voice, "I pity the mountain that thinks it can stop me."  (she wasn't
saying it, but I was hearing it).

The weather has been incredible.  Every day but one has been clear and
incredible.  The one exception was a miserable, all day soaking we got
climbing  Whitecap.  Rained ALL day.  Sheltered with 6 other folks.

Best Trail Magic So Far:
I had been telling Pokey H for days that I'd give left parts of my body for
a tomato (especially one of Grandma's).  At the shelter the night of the
rain, I was able to come away with the biggest Beefeater I'd seen in a long
while.  It was great.  Footnote:  I think the girl w/ the tomato accidently
loaded my mess kit and silverware the next morning, as now I have none.
[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Shades of "Paris"?]

PITTSBURGH:  A beautiful city with horrible stop light schedules.
PITTSBURGH, TAKE TWO:  Even though this hike would have started just fine
without Pittsburgh and Kahley, I can't see it as having been as enjoyable,
or special.  Spent about 24 hrs w/ Pittsburgh and enjoyed it all (even the
1.5hrs we didn't know where we were IN PITTSBURGH).  I came to find that
what I thought was true: Pittsburgh is a really nice guy&  I like him.

Answers To Some Questions:
Kahley-  Yes, but not with a brush.
Hopeful-  Usually 2x4's, but sometimes 4x4's cut to width.
Milt-  The older two - yes.  The younger one will someday.

Things I've Learned:
A man's pack will never get lighter while hiking with a woman.  If I take
out a pound of food to eat, I end up with a pound of women's clothes (on
top of the women's clothes I already had in there).
Never recommend a trail name to a woman with words like "Thunder Thighs",
"Calf's Calves", "Tree Trunk Tracy" etc.

(Mike, are you using capitals?)  [yes, reluctantly - ed.]

Sophomoric Inuendo - Local Advertisement:
"When you're fighting mosquitos in the deep woods, you can't beat OFF."

Well, my good friends, all for this week.  I'll keep ya posted.  I haven't
written the first word in my personal journal yet, nor the first word for
my newspaper article.  Now, where are those pomegranites?


PS  I have never felt better, top to bottom, after 100 miles of hiking,
than I do right now.    1/21.603 done:)

BTW  Thanks to Ern Grove and MATC vols for fine trail conditions and many


received from andover, me:

The beAT goes on:

Well, lying here in my tent, I have to wonder why I didn't jsut change my
name to Kenneth, get married and go to the Carribean.  Hell, I already have
the shirt for it.  I digress.

Shaws&  the Monson Experience:
Hmmmm, where to start?  I only understand 1/2 of what Keith says, and that
scares me plenty.  It took two days of hard work, charm and wit, but I
finally broke through Pat's shell and got her to smile, and even laugh a
time or two.  I bought her an ice cream bar.  I think we're engaged.  Had a
breakfast to write home about this morning.  The two dinners were good, but
the breakfast was Dan D.

Hontas update:
Her ankles are the size of small mellons.  I'm concerned about this

Later That Same Trip:
Quote of the Week: "Do you think it will mildew tonight?"
When moles die, do the other moles unbury them?
Oquossoc, ME:  why?
Beorn:  Met him.  No further comment.
Clinton: Monica who?
Saddleback Mtn: Incredible views.  CLoudy and windy on top.  One word for
MATC: "switchback."
Stratton, ME:  Stayed at the White Wolf.  Nice place w/ good food.  A few
weeks ago someone implied that Beorn and I are, in fact, the same person.
Not so.  However, when I met Beorn, at the White Wolf, there was a
transvestite sitting not 10 feet away.  Not that there's anything wrong
with that.  I just thought it was weird.

We are hiking with a guy named Patch.  He has but one eye.  Nice guy.
There is also a young hiker with us, named SoyBoy.  I don't know his trail

Nice campsite at the Carrabassett River.  Met brothers Jim and Angus and
Stickman there.  Blueberries are still good.

Avery Peak was totally socked in and powerful windy when we crossed.  I met
Cheryl, of the Solemates, on Little Bigelow.  I had waved at Ron at the
road crossing before little Bigelow, not knowing it was him.  then talked
to Cheryl a bit before realizing who she was.  (I had to run back,
packless, to catch her and tell her I am who I am.  Felix).

I found out in Stratton that one of the cats that I said godbye to when we
left, may not be there when I get home.  Keep your fingers crossed for my
13 y.o. bestfriend, Elmer.

Where is Carmen Miranda?

We are doing 25 mile days now.  Well, grossing 25 miles, netting about 10.
We will hike for a while, until Pokey H. gets tired.  Then, she will take
her pack off and walk with me until I get tired.  I then take my pack off
and walk back to her pack.  She doesn't like being alone, so she walks with
me.  When we get to her pack, I carry it to my pack, with her walking with
me.  She is now rested from not having to carry her pack.  So, we walk
together for a little while longer.

We tried something in the 100 miles wilderness that I would advise against.
  We figured our food bags were too heavy, so, the first night, we ate
everything.  I mean everything.  Except the coffee.  From then on, every
meal was coffee.  By the 5th day, I felt weak.  Sure, I was always on a
caffeine rush, but i just didn't seem to have any energy for the long term.

Sorry for an abrupt end to an abruptly began note.  But, I gotsta get it in
da mail.  Paul and Irene have been wonderful.  Highly recommended.  [i
concur - ed.]
I shall try to be better about writing next time.  But, if not, my lawyer
says you have nearly no recourse.  Ah, life in the 90's.

Bye now.  And remember what I always say... "The bigger the socks, the
fewer it takes to fill the drawer."


Felix J. McGillicuddy
ME-->GA '98
"Your Move"
ALT '03 KT '03

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