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[at-l] I'm Back

Hi Everyone,
     After being off the list for a few months, I've just rejoined.  No I
haven't found a way to gain more time in my day, I was just homesick for all
the good trail related postings.

     Since it has been a few months, I thougth I would re-introduce myself.
 My name is Wayne Brown.  I married and currently have six children (three
are mine, three are foster children).  I was a day-hiker for many years until
1995.  After seeing the Trailside show about the AT, a spark went off in my
heart.  I had seen the AT many times as a child when our family would go to
the mountains.  I never had a real desire to hike it, I just knew it was
there.  Seeing those people on Trailside sparked a major case of Springer
Fever in me.

     In an attempt to cool that fever, I went out and spent hundreds of
dollars on hiking equipment for my son and I.  In October of last year, we
went for a two day outing in the Great Smokie Mountains National Park, hiking
from Newfound Gap to Mt. Collins.  The next day we hiked down the Sugarlands
Mountain Trail into Gatlinburg.  That was an easy, but very long hike for two

     The fever still was not cooled.  I realized that the only way to cool
Springer Fever was to go the Springer.  That's exactly what we did in March.
 Ryan and I started mid-morning one Saturday at the state park at the base of
Springer Mountain and hiked for five days.  We ended our hike at Neels Gap
early the that Wednesday afternoon.  It was great, five days of sun, rain,
heat, cold, and a very home-sick dog for one night.  I plan to post my trail
journal from that hike soon.

     Well, my attempt to cool that Springer Fever was only a temporary fix.
 I guess the only sure way to cure the fever is to start at Springer and go
non-stop for 2160 miles (give or take a few miles).  Unfortunatly, my career
and family responsibilities prevent me from doing a thru-hike at this time.
 So, I guess I'll have to find comfort in reading the journals of other
hikers and taking a week or two each year to section hike.  Maybe in another
12 or 15 years I'll have finished the trail.  Then, about 30 years from now,
I'll have the time to do it again... as a real thru-hiker.
Wayne Brown
Lakeland, FL
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