rcli4 at comcast.net
rcli4 at comcast.net
Wed Dec 24 14:40:07 CST 2014
where is the duck soup? I like duck soup.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Felix J" <athiker at smithville.net>
To: "at-l" <AT-L at backcountry.net>
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:36:05 AM
Subject: [at-l] Sistine
Roaring Fork Shelter
The next morning (12/23) he got up and left early. I talked
to him from the
comfort of my sleeping bag. I finally got up and left at
Almost the second I left the shelter it started drizzling.
raining steadily by the time I started up Max Patch. The
up, as usual. The Smokys were now clearly visible. Clearly
the sense that I could see that they were socked in. It was an
incredible feeling to be looking at those mountains knowing
next day I would be entering the Granddaddy of them all. As
higher on the side of Max Patch, the winds and rains
increased. Then, as
I was 50 yards from what appears to be the summit, Brother
Shine On" rockin' my head-setted world,
ERRRRR!!! ERRRRR!!!! ERRRRRRR!!!! This is a warning. The
Weather Service has issued a Severe Winter Storm Warning for
Western Carolina and Eastern Tennessee." I could not have
been more Western Carolinaed and Eastern Tennesseed than I
was, as I was standing on the state line. What a rush to be
on Max Patch, looking at the Smokes, and hear that kind of
while watching it get ready to happen. Incredible.
I picked up the pace considerably after that. I stopped for
a break at
Groundhog Creek Shelter. I was freezing, wet. Again, my
and arms couldn't work the way they're supposed to. I knew I
staying there, or getting out of there soon. Too cold for
around. I headed up Snowbird in a steady, heavy rain. I
leaving the shelter until I remembered that I could try to
get to Mt.
Moma's instead of Davenport Gap Shelter. "Hmmm, cheeseburgers" I
thought. Cheeseburgers, indeed. I trudged on. It was a
little after 4:00
when I crossed under I-40. When I got back into the woods,
and rhododendrons made it look much later. When I got to
it was dark. I stood on the gravel road, cold rain falling,
feet in front of me. "Felix" said the cheeseburger. "Yes?" I
"Go to the light, boy". As I walked down the muddy road, I
the magnificence of the Smokys to my right. I could smell
them. It was
I walked what seemed like 6 hours in that rain and fog. It
about 45 minutes, though. When I could finally see the
lights of Mt.
Moma's through the fog, I was happy. I walked in the door at
'til 6. Every eye in the place was on me. A long-haired,
soaking wet hiker walks in an hour after dark? He's crazy.
God, I love
"You got someplace where hikers stay?" I asked the silent room.
"Well, there's the bunkhouse," a bewildered woman said with
She said something to the man next to her and he left the room.
"Go to the pink bunkhouse and I'll get you a plate of food."
"How about one of those Texas Cheeseburgers" I thought.
Well, I liked
the thought of it so well that I said it, too.
"The grille's closed. I'll get you a plate of food."
I went outside to wander around the parking lot in the
pea-soup fog and
rain. I saw the bunkhouses, but couldn't tell which one was
Finally, the man who had left the room walked up with a
space heater and directed me to the pink bunkhouse. He told
me to put on
some dry cloths and come back inside and get my food. I did.
I looked at
the disposable cameras on the counter. I could not buy one.
taunting me. It knew that I had $11. It knew that my 'room'
was $10. It
knew that Mt. Moma took no credit card. I took the single
dollar and bought a Pepsi. I took my Pepsi and a picnic
basket of food
with me back to the bunkhouse.
I cuddled up next to that space heater and ate. Ham, sweet
dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and the best
ever had. Easily, this was the most special Christmas Dinner
of my life.
It was in a room no bigger than 10X10. I sat on the floor. I
After dinner, I took a long, hot shower. Life was good. This
remain as one of the most special nights of the hike, and my
(Disclaimer: This is not open for comparison with anyone's
girlfriend and his/her hike. This is just about my hike,
which was very special to me....whether it was to anyone
else, or not. Duck soup.)
Felix J. McGillicuddy
ALT '03 KT '03
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at-l at mailman.backcountry.net
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