• Appalachian Trail revisited ...


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    Someone asked me recently if I was ever going to finish hiking that last 1100 miles along the northern route of the Appalachian Trail. I think my knee-jerk response was 'NO'. I believe that feeling still stands. I love the great outdoors and feeling dirty and rugged, but we all move onto later phases of our lives.

    I recalled a few fond memories of that trip, one -- staying at a bed and breakfast in Hot Springs North Carolina this morning while I was driving and couldn't help but laugh out loud -- yes, LOL.

    The place was run by an old hippie named Elmer Hall and he operated what is known as 'The Sunnybank Inn.' It was a nice enough place but I remember how crotchety he was because he wasn't expecting any hiker's that early in the season and didn't want to give me a room, even though he had no one staying with him at the time. He got his blood up when I took one of the 'non-hiker' rooms that he had.

    It being Superbowl Sunday, he had slipped into Ashville for shopping and left a note on the door for anyone coming off the trail to come in and make themselves at home. He was shocked when he got home and saw me. Oh well ... he overcharged me on the last day, but I didn't mind. His assistant handed me a bill with one amount, then he handed me a bill that was almost eighty dollars more later that night for the same time frame. Alas ...

    I will say this about the place:

    1. He was easily the best Vegan cook I've ever had the experience of eating with. The food was unforgettable.

    2. The old house was on the register of historic places and you could 'feel' the history and the people that had all gone through there. I definitely didn't feel alone the three days I stayed, even though I was the only one in the house the majority of the time.

    3. He had a 1st edition copy of Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' in a cabinet, but alluded to money problems. Ohh ... the irony. If only I was so lucky.

    I do miss that beard though, I will say that. I recall the night I shaved it off when I got back to Los Angeles. I was kind of heart-broken and relieved all at the same time. I had a family dinner the next day and my wife kind of suggested I part ways with it. Being one to usually oblige her requests ...

    Ha ... the memories ...

    Addendum: Reached by email this morning, I was informed Elmer Hall is still running the place and doing well. Christmas wishes his way for sure ...




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