Day 146 - 80° - Sunny, little breezy- Spring Meadows Park
Day 145 - 78° - Sunny, humid - Spring Meadows Park
Day 144 - 77° - Sunny, humid - Spring Meadows Park
Day 143 - 65° - Rainy - Spring Meadows Park
The Appalachian Trail is 2184 miles and runs from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine. The half way point along the trail is a few miles down the road in Boiling Springs. Boiling Springs is a great place for hikers to take a break from the trail, as there is an AT Center, post office (for packages mailed ahead), lodging (such as the Red Cardinal B&B), a grocery store and several places to eat. This time of the year, there are many hikers in town.
We have had a few "sectional" hikers over the last couple of years at the Red Cardinal B&B. A sectional hiker is one who covers "sections" of the each year in hopes of completing the trail over a certain amount of time (years).
This week, "Spider" was our guest for 2 days. He was a "thru-hiker" - that is someone who is doing the entire trail in one season. After months of training, "Spider" began his journey in February. Like most thru-hikers, "Spider" was traveling south to north because of the weather.
The thru-hikers average 20-30 miles/day (I was 2-3 miles/day!), sleep along the trail in the open or in shelters. Many of them plan some time off (0 time) to treat their ailments (feet and knees mainly), eat a good meal and get a good night's sleep.
When a hiker is a guest at the Red Cardinal B&B, Billy picks them up at the trail center. He usually ends up running them on a "few" errands for band-aids and food supplies and dropping them off for dinner.
The AT has its own language and customs. First of all, everyone on the trail has a trail name. Alan, our guest, is "Spider". Other guests we have had were "Shrek", "Jigsaw", and "Jaybird".
Another custom is the ½ gallon challenge. When a hiker reaches the half-way point in his/her journey, they have to open a gallon of ice cream and eat it all. "Spider" ate his around 10 pm and we were delighted until he got a text message from a friend who informed him that a ½ gallon is not a ½ gallon anymore, but 1.5 quarts!! Now he has to do it again when he can stomach the task.
"Spider" is hoping to complete his journey by mid/late August. We enjoyed having him as our guest and sharing trail stories We wish him lots of luck and a safe journey.
If you are on the trail, and need a great place to get some R&R, the Red Cardinal B&B is the place to stay. Give us a call and we will meet you at the trail center.