Thursday, 25 April 2013

Zero day in Franklin

I wasn't going to post today, because there is no hiking going on, but Gronk called and we had a long talk about this, that, and the other thing. He says being in a town makes him feel odd, maybe unbalanced somehow, off his game. He says it makes him feel "slowed down" because the miles aren't disappearing under each foot step.

When they came off the trail yesterday, there was a gaggle of about fifteen hikers all wanting a ride in to town. Then this bus showed up from the motel that accommodates hikers and is one of several owned by a former through-hiker. Everybody was able to get a ride into town at once, so that was fun. I asked about the dogs and he said they had not showed up at this junction, so he didn't know where they were. He did mention this one hiker called Gramma B (who is probably our age! even though we don't feel "old", we could be grandparents at our age). He said she was a "vision" in a Tilley-style hat and safari shirt, complete with a white shepherd dog named Ghost. The dog started his acquaintance by growling but turned out to be friendly.

He and MacGyver are doing laundry - I got a text this morning asking how to wash fleece! All the fleece I know is practically indestructible but they weren't sure. Anyway, I had not heard that it disintegrated in the wash so I suppose it was okay. Then later today, they are going to get shuttled around to an outfitter and the WalMart, for stuff and food. Gronk's feet still get cold in the hammock and he wants to remedy that. Plus he is thinking ahead to the Smokies where you must sleep in shelters if there is room, and he doesn't have a mattress pad. Of course, he doesn't want to carry anything more, so it is something to ponder about. I am thinking the shelters will be full and he can go hang in the trees and there won't be a problem, especially if he is quiet about it.

Gronk is holding a map of the entire AT (you can find it here) and is indicating how far they have hiked to date. Kind of a long way to go!

There may be some more photos at his Flickr site later. The uploading chip thingy wasn't working  before but I see two new ones just now.


  1. There are still a lot of miles ahead of him. I think the zero days are like my walk breaks when I'm running a half marathon. Time to let my body rest (just a bit), take a drink of water or eat some carbs to fuel up and aim for the finish line. I'm partial to merino wool socks -- wonder if you can find wool socks in the US south.

  2. Yeah, I agree with May. The zero days are critical to ensure he doesn't suffer from overtraining. Besides, he's earned them and they're good for him. How's he doing with the no-carb diet? Is it working for him?

  3. May, I think all the outfitter places stock wool socks - they are best for hiking. Frequent short rests are good, maybe better than long rests.

    Zoom, ha ha! -- no carb diet on the AT. That's a laugh. No, Gronk is eating whatever he can get his grimy hands on, carbs and all. I think he'll be like bears in the woods, and be a complete omnivore, eating whatever is available. I recommended he eat something green yesterday, in town, but he didn't say if he did. He says many of the Southern guys load up on hot sauce but I think it's bad for the guts. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

  4. Wow, the map brings to mind Frodo on his way to Mount Doom! :) Impressive!

    1. Ha! Good one, BamBam. I think there are far fewer Orcs, thank dog.