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Re:Re: update Hampton (fwd)

The latest from the K.'s...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 29 Apr 96 09:44:40 EDT
From: Richard Kushman 
Subject: Re:Re: update Hampton

Day 55  4/25/96  Thursday   no miles
The plan this day was to be dropped off at Carvers Gap and slack pack to Walnut Mountain Road. Sutton could not put together the necessary drop off and pick up shuttle connections so he suggested we take the day off. I must admit to being easily persuaded but this leaves a section incomplete for the time being. 
The Cheese Girls, and Guiness left for Damascus this morning and Sightseer, Billy Goat, Godfather and Turtle came into Hampton by late afternoon.  We met Freddy, he is eighty two years old and doing a section hike. Freddy swears his smoking will kill him some day. Speaking of smoking, I am truly amazed at the number of hikers that smoke. I expected some of course, after all Nexmo smokes, but I had hoped for positive reinforcement for her quitting and just the opposite has occurred.
This will be our last night in Hampton, which has proven to be a good place to plan a break from the trail. Avoid Elk Park, come to Hampton, and enjoy the Hampton "Castle" Hostel, that is our recommendation

Day 56  4/26/96  Friday   21.8  miles
Brian dropped Godfather, Turtle and us off at RT91 and the AT about 8:30 a.m. for another slack packing trip. Godfather and Turtle would head back to Hampton and we would continue to Damascus. Morning rain slowly gave way to a partly sunny enjoyable day. The section from RT91 to Damascus is probably the easiest we have encountered as yet. We caught up to ET and Turtle who were being entertained by a self professed drifter. Though he was not headed for Damascus he and his dog decided to hike with the girls, in fact he claimed no destination. We stayed with the girls and the strange but apparently harmless drifter eventually went his own way.  
Damascus is delightful and clearly a friendly home for all hikers.  "The Place", a hostel, was overflowing with hikers, many tents were pitched on the lawn and all the bunks were full. We stayed at the Appalachian Inn, which is two doors away, and had the entire place to ourselves. Pretty luxurious camping I must admit.
My entrance to town gave birth to a new phenomena. Not my actual arrival but my manner of walking after over twenty one miles on the trail. The Download Shuffle......

There's a new craze in Damascus and
Everyone's doing it, doing it, doing it
It starts with knee pain, a wince and a groan
It's an aging disease down deep to the bones
Lasting twenty four hours even the young get down
Just walk twenty miles to the nearest town
Big miles ... big pain
It's the Download Shuffle ...
Ouch ... Ouch ... Ouch

Authored by:
Bronco, Puddin, October Dawn, Chameleon, ET, Godfather and Turtle
Perhaps I should mention that the above creativity was accomplished at Quincy's over Calzones and ice cold beer. 

Day 57  4/27/96  Saturday   no miles
Day off in Damascus. Take care of mail. New cartridge for water filter. Bronco and Puddin purchased a new tent and joined us for a seam seal party.
Bill Mashburn paid us a visit. Bill has been following our hike on the internet and sent us e-mail offering any help needed while we were in the Damascus area. He very generously offered shuttles to Abingdon or would arrange slack packing if we desired. We decided to stay in Damascus and not slack pack again right now, but thank you Bill for the "Trail Magic".
Gutsy arrived today, also known as Wrong Way Johnson. She is incredibly fast having left Springer on March 27th but her claim to fame is a wrong turn at Brown Fork Shelter where she mistakenly headed South. She is intimately familiar with Stecoah Gap having had more than one visit that day. Gives me chills to think of that climb again.
Godfather and Turtle arrived and stayed with us at the inn. Big hiker dinner at Quincy's. Discussed plans to leave Damascus  ... some day.

Day 58  4/28/96  Sunday   no miles
General lazy day. Yoda left for trail today but ET and Turtle stayed. Cheese Girls are not all together now. 
More hikers in to replace those back on the trail. We are leaving in the morning for sure, staying any longer would be harmful to our hiking rhythm

******* BLUE BLAZE  -  WATER FILTERS *****
The PUR-HIKER filter has been flawless. We have not suffered any illness. It has never clogged. We use it regularly and probably do not have to replace the filter cartridge as yet, but just to be safe, have done so in Damascus. Only one time, after a very cold night, did it fail to pump. Simply a small amount of water put into the pump for priming solved the problem. The water is clear and enjoyable with no chemical taste or odor.
Some hikers, not wanting to take the time for filtering, elect to use iodine tablets. We like the pure taste of filtered water. We think the PUR Hiker has been a good choice.