July 2011

Last Lap-itis

I write this from the cement patio floor of a frat house at Dartmouth College. This is completely irrelevant to the proceeding post- but how could I not mention that?

You know that uneasy feeling you get when some significant stage in your life is nearing its conclusion? Maybe you’ve experienced this during your senior year of high school, or college, or before moving to a new city or leaving a job, or the end of a meaningful relationship. You’re still in the midst of it, but once you let your mind wander just a little bit forward in time, you can sense the end. I call this “Last Lap-itis”.

I have a severe case of Last Lap-itis.

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The War of Nutrition

You should definitely pay attention to this post if you are:

1) Planning on doing any sort of extended backing packing trip in the future, and

2) A sweaty individual

You can still pay attention if you are only one or none of these things, but you have less to gain (other than a sense of superiority over Badger).

So in the “Rolling with the Rocks” post, I lightly detailed some of the longer term physical ailments I had been battling. Admittedly, I had underplayed the degree to which I was suffering.

Starting in approximately mid to late May, when northern Virginia was hit by an unseasonable heat wave, I really learned that the Appalachian Trail is a three season sport. The temperatures during this stretch got into the mid 90′s, with the heat index (the feeling outside according to human skin) reaching into triple figures. Although it has cooled off a bit since, our average day has been in the mid to upper 80s.

A little biological background on Badger: I am a sweaty dude (I think it’s all the hair?). After going for a run, I have been questioned on multiple occasions if “I had just jumped into a pool, or something?” No. I perspire the same way I do most things in life, excessively and intensely.

So what happens when you put a 30 lb pack on a professional perspirer, tell him to walk up a mountain, and the outside temperature feels like 100 degrees? Funny you should ask- I will tell you.

Well for starters, a hospital visit.

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Free Stuff Fridays: Caption Contest #4

Goodbyes are hard.

I bring this up because today is our last installment of Free Stuff Friday. After this weekend’s contest- we must say goodbye to awesome free Hi-Tec gear.

But fear not- you still have a chance to win this week, and right now is the only time we will ever have.

And this week is a special edition of the caption contest. This week is the make a WHOOP! laugh edition. WHOOP! is like a Rubik’s cube. Only Will Smith can figure him out.

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A Day in the Life of An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker

Many of my posts attempt to paint broad strokes of life on the Appalachian Trail. Whether it be the social dynamics, the concept of trail magic, or the personal growth that comes from a few challenging weeks- I have a tendency to try and place all events into a larger, overarching theme.

But not every event on the trail fits under the category of a challenge, learning lesson, or cultural oddity. Some days- are just days.

And some days- are just good days.

Allow me to paint the picture of a good day on the Appalachian Trail for you.

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