A.T. Maintenance – Meeting Southbounders


I didn’t think we would meet anyone on the A.T. today. We went on our last trail maintenance trip of the year. Lenny cleared water bars while I clipped and picked up more than the usual garbage. We found a blue Crock shoe and a cheap orange stake.

ATmaintenance-RiverdanceBut then one orange clad backpacker came after another – orange because they knew it was hunting season. First, there was Riverdance.

In his hiking kilt and orange hair, there was no question why he called himself Riverdance. He had started at Katahdin at the end of June but was obviously taking his time getting down South.

Next was Nancy Drew, another young man who made the mistake of saying he had Nancy Drew detective skills.

But the hero was Cocoatoe. He appeared on the trail just as Lenny was struggling with a fallen tree. Lenny tried to saw it with his Silky Saw but it was a thick tree. He was not going to give up.

So when I saw Cocoatoe, I asked him to help. See the picture above.

Before he even knew what hit him, Lenny handed him the saw. One guy held the tree in place while the other sawed. And they got the tree down. Thank you Cocoatoe.

Cocoatoe got his name because his toes got very dry and someone suggested Cocoa Butter. It worked.

These three Southbounders are quite behind in their journey. By now, most Southbounders are off the trail. It is going to be quite cold going through the Smokies. I wish them luck.

The last three people were on a day hike from Sams Gap to Devil’s Fork Gap.

ATmaintenance-thePebblesIt turns out that the couple on the left are visiting from Ontario. The guy’s brother had emailed me about some good hikes to suggest – and I did.

I suggested the Smokies but I didn’t know that the couple had a dog. They recognized me as the “guidebook writer”. What a coincidence! They didn’t have any orange but I hadn’t heard shots all day so they were probably OK.

It was a small and busy world on the A.T.

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