Wednesday, May 19


Joe's "Clark's Jungle Hammock"
NOBO is actually a term used in describing a hiker and the direction he is going on the Appalachian Trail also known as the AT. Timothy has taken a 6 month leave of absence from Marina Management in Florida and on May 1 he started hiking the AT from Springer Mountain in Georgia,  heading North . Yesterday he was at Fontana Village, NC and spent the night at the Fontana  Hilton before heading into the Great Smokey Mountain National Park today. If you have ever read Bill Bryson's book, "A Walk in the Woods" , you know that hikers  have trail names. When Tim started, he did not have a name, but shortly after leaving Springer, he became "Spoon'. Seems that when he was ordering his gear from REI, he wasn't paying close attention to the items he purchased, just checking things off his list and moving on. So he ordered a spork, which is a spoon fork combination, and he also ordered another spoon combination thing. When he got his package from REI out came this huge plastic ladle/spoon thing about foot and half long. Chuckled about it and because it was really light thru it in the pack anyway. When he got to the first shelter, and started to cook dinner, with some friends he had met on the trail, Matt's girlfriend said that she had forgotten to bring any thing to eat with, and Tim said "I have just the thing for you" and pulled out his giant spoon. So his friends started calling him Spoon. I guess he tried to object but, then of course the whole shelter picked up on the name and continued calling him "Spoon". So "Spoon" he is!!! He carries enough food for 3 to 4 days on the trail and when he stops for food, he usually updates his blog. He wasn't able to find a WiFi connection in Fontana, so it looks like Gatlinburg will be his next opportunity for blogging. You can subscribe or view his blog at: The AT & T
Spoon at Tray Gap

          So the hammock above is my hammock. Sean & I are planning on joining him for 4 days at the end of June or the beginning of July,  somewhere in Virginia. Tim actually started talking about this hike last fall and he and I had a lot of discussions about gear and  planning. He originally planned to leave in April, but then because of his work load, he decided in early March, that he wasn't going to be able to go. My plan had been to start off with him at Springer, figuring that I could keep up with him when he first started, and Sean was going to join him later. So when Ellen & I were snowbound at Newfound Gap, in the Great Smokey Mountains on our way home from Florida, I was glad that he had made the decision not to start this year. But by Easter he had changed his mind and started ordering his gear and announced that May 1 was starting his starting date. Tim is using a Hennessey hammock, recommended by his friend Rob, and says that it is working fine. Light weight , no poles , easy to set up. All the reasons I chose plus not having to sleep on the cold ground. My old bones do not like sleeping on the cold hard ground or the hard wooden floors in the shelters.
Tim resting in his hammock in Gerogia

          We are following his progress north, he has been averaging about 14 miles per day, and we are looking forward to meeting up with him in Virgina in about a month. I am packed and am carrying my fully loaded pack as I lead hikes in the Blue Hills on Thursday evenings with the SE Mass Chapter of the AMC's Red Line the Blue Hills hike series.