Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Badger Game

10-5-09 day 125
start: Island Camsite (Near Jenkins Shelter), VA
end: Knot Maul Branch Shelter, VA
daily mileage: 19.0
total mileage: 1626.0

The cold weather at night makes for nice sleeping, but it is hard to get out of your nice warm bag in the morning. We got a late start today. It turned out to be one of those long slow days, not helped by the fact that we took a 2 hour lunch after only 8 miles. Our laziness and bad planning left us fairly late in the afternoon with 11 miles to go...ugg.

Up on top of what I suppose is called Chestnut Knob, is the Chestnut Knob Shelter. It's a really nice spot. The woods opens up to a gorgeous sunny field and the shelter is a totally enclosed stone cabin. As with nearly every shelter there is graffiti craved and written on the walks, and this is where I will digress momentarily. Our first day back on trail after our flip we got off the train in Harper's Ferry and met Queen Becky. She said she was a hiker but she was wearing blue jeans and just generally seemed strange. At the time we didn't think anything of it, but in the time since then we have come to loathe this woman. We get constant reminders of her idiocy in the form of giant scrawled graffiti at what seems like every shelter and even on signs along the trail. She likes to make bad drawings of flowers and salamanders and stuff, Queen Becky you are an idiot.

As we hiked late into the afternoon we seriously stared reconsidering the need to get up early. We slid into the shelter just before dark and met up with Icarus and a guy we met yesterday 'Rabbit'.

Also for the first time we ran into 'Quidam'. We have heard so much about this guy we were wondering if we would ever actually meet him. He is generally believed to be insane and always writes crazy, nonsensical things in the trail journal. His entries always beginning, "I enjoyed the shelter and the AT. I am a wacrour-noun-French Law- a vagrant" and are always signed "Quidam identity-theft badger game". He was asleep when we got here but is said to hike always with big construction safety goggles and have conversations with himself including several distinctly different voices. Here he was in the shelter with his school book bag, and duffel filled with god knows what and curled up in all his clothes without a sleeping bag. You have to feel kinda sorry for the guy, but anyway we both look forward to meeting him tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I met Quidam last night (11-22-09) at the Silers Bald trail shelter in the Smokies, and he is without a doubt the most bizzare fellow I've ever met. He says he has hiked all the way down the AT from somewhere in MD which I find hard to believe, and yet, after reading this post.....
    He was totally ill-equipped, carrying a large bag of clothes, a flimsy,summer-season Coleman sleeping bag, and wearing work boots at least 3 sizes too large. He had no sleeping pad, no cooking eqipment, no way to start a fire, no rain gear, and no food. He is living off nothing but the kindness of strangers.
    This morning we tried to get him to exit the trail, fearing for his life. He trudged off in 34 degree weather in a steady wind and rain. Hypothermia is almost a certainty, and chances are there will be no one at Derricks Knob to help him as we did last night. We loaded him up with food last night, which he devoured like he hadn't eaten in a week. We gave him more this morning.... He is obviously an insane homeless person who has decided to live on the trail rather than the streets of some town. We notified park rangers at Ocanaluftee who said they were aware of him and were monitoring him. Hope he survives tonight.