BIg Daddy and Ipod are insurance salesmen from North Carolina. I think it was last year when they decided to do the whole trail together but alas, old men's knees don't work as well as they used to. Big Daddy's knees were going out of style around Hot Springs and they decided to section hike the trail instead. This time out they were doing the Damascus > Pearisburg section which is a cool 160 miles. I met them after a few days at the Partnership shelter. It is on the edge of the Mt Rogers National Recreation Area and I believe it is the only shower with a shower. Anyways, right off the bat, they start unloading their food bags on me. That night it was just some drink mix. I liked the Peach Tea Sarah, but they had FRUIT PUNCH!!!!
By late June, just starting Virginia is late and the other hikers trickle on through so finding good hiking buddies is not as easy and hiking all day and not seeing 5 people is pretty lonely. Although solitude is good, it's nice to share the day's experiences and talk with someone at the end of the day. Over the next week or so, we all hang together and I soon find out that Big Daddy sure can build a fire. The Knot Maul Shelter which I think is marked somewhere on the google map almost burned down because of him. All the wood was wet but sure enough he had some tricks up his sleeve and the fire was raging. You had to sit near about ten feet away so you wouldn't burn your leg hairs off. The rain that had hit us was of no consequence at this point because the inferno dried everything out.
Ipod on the other hand didn't have to say or do anything and he was instantly cool. I didn't know why but after talking a bit, I found out why he emitted cool. He is an NCSU alumni. Ipod got the name because he could sing just about any tune that you asked him to. His selection though was limited almost to the 60's through 80's. On a bus into town filled with senior citizens, I told all the little old ladies that story that he could sing anything and sure enough, they wanted to hear a song since he had such a beautiful voice. He and Big Daddy proceeded to sing Amazing Grace and I have a video to prove it!
AND NOW, THE REST OF THE STORY...
PATH PISSERSThe second day that I was hiking with big daddy and Ipod, they were hiking ahead of me as usual. Their normal wake up time was 6:00 or 6:30 so they could hike during a cooler part of the day and finish early in the afternoon. I usually started around 8:00am and caught up to them around lunch time, they would eat a short lunch and leave before I did from lunch locations and I would catch up to and pass them later on in the early after noon. The second day that I was hiking with them though we were passing through some farm lands and crossing several roads and today would be the day that I meet the path pissers.
I cross the last road and am heading along this flat and I see two people stopped in the middle of the AT. They're looking at the ground and inspecting it. I thought that they dropped something and were trying to find it so I keep walking towards them and watching them. It appears that one person is just a very large, perhaps menatlly challenged, juvenile and the other person is the guardian and so I keep walking forward and watching, still wondering what the heck is going on and then I notice that the larger one has their pants down right in the middle of the trail. They have not realized that I just walked up on them and so I just turn around and stand in the path. I hear their mutterings. "Yall alright?" I yell back to them. "You're ok. Come on through" I walk past them, and see that it's two older ladies in their sixties and that they're clearly embaressed.
About an hour later, I catch Big Daddy and Ipod at the shelter and tell them the story. They remember the ladies in my story and their big reply, boils down to how all the older ladies like a man with a Flag or something like that. Horsefly catches us later on and I tell him the story too.
The next day, we all get up for a potential 30 miler around 6:00am and keep walk out around 7:00am. About a mile from the shelter, Fly and I are walking about 20 yds apart and then he stops and turns around. Jokingly I ask if someone was taking a piss in the path and he doesn't reply but all he says is "I remember what you said yesterday". Turns out, we have met the path pissers again. The same two older ladies, out for a walk and not taking a single step off the trail to do their biz. Just to forewarn all of you, don't piss in the middle of a trail or you will be caught by an unsuspecting hiker and you will end up in their trail journal or blog. What a story.