As this trip moves along, and it does continue, I meet a lot of like minded folks. Not like minded in the sense that we agree on everything, nor in the way that best friends can talk about anything. What I do mean, is that we all share this burden and opportunity of arduous footwork.
They seem to come and go. I’m sure, and I’ve been told, that I may not see someone for a thousand miles, only to be reunited at some random town. Meeting all of these folks is extremely difficult because of this point. I could hike with them for four days and then never see them again. It’s almost as if I have a blackboard in my mind of people and leave only the faint outlines when I erase. I hope to see some of them if not all again.
After meeting at least thirty or more hikers on my same path South, you truly remember each and every name. We all eventually get a “trail name,” from a weird habit, or maybe something that someone said too many times. It could be anything. This was strange to me at first, and yet I received one. Sitting at one of the shelters in the 100 Mile Wilderness, we all talked about what food we would want at that time. Some said “cheeseburgers from McDonald’s,” while others just wanted some ice cream. I could only think of this one obscure thing from my childhood that my mom used to make, and I’m pretty sure hasn’t made in a long time; Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies.
So my trail name is Neiman Marcus, given to me by a girl named Burn. She unfortunately had to postpone her thru-hike until 2020 because of fractures in her feet, and that truly is a shame, but she’ll be back to kick this thing’s butt and forreal… thanks Burn!
We all don’t always get along, but almost always we see eye to eye on taking care of one another and making sure we’re all safe. From Drop Bear, to Tammy, to Swan Dive, Pale Ale, Selah, Attrition, Toodles, Toes, Reach, Teradactyle, Joey Dabs, Roo, and even Polly, it’s endless but understood. We have to have one another’s back and will see one another again.
So from here, in New Hampshire, it comes to The White Mountains, The Presidentials, and The Wildcats. The Appalachian Mountain Club employs caretakers at some of the shelters, and there will be huts for tourists and families for us thru-hikers to stay at for the night. Most of the hike will be above 4,000 feet, and we will all have to watch the weather for Mt. Washington, for at the bottom, it could be 75F and at the top, 45F. Therefore, New Hampshire will be defeated and most importantly enjoyed. Maine really took one out of me, and I suspect that sentiment won’t fade fast or ever, but it’s time to really climb some mountains with some friends.