39 Photos - Sep 5, 2008
Photo: Some view of some mountains at some point in this abusive hike. Day one.Photo: This is Flat Jed. Notice the goatee and the knee high boots.Photo: Craig trying to hog the tent.Photo: Craig pretending like he's not a tent hog.Photo: Israel and Ryan after the first mile.Photo: A very far a way mountain that we didn't climb.Photo: Why aren't I taking a picture of what everyone else is looking at?Photo: Dan fiddles with his pocket while Craig stuffs his mouth with dried fruit. This is our first major stop after 3 miles. I think.Photo: Dan and all his gear. The green back pack has his blow dryer, three pairs of shoes for his different outfits and moist towlettes.Photo: Flat Jed is a real man. He lost his arm and still has a smile on his face.Photo: Flat Jed's judgment of his hiking pal Craig: Thumbs down.Photo: This is close to mile five. We just walked out of the trees into the daylight after walking up the side of a moutain that had to be perpendicular. Dan looks studly with his trekking poles. That's Ryan and Craig back there. They don't look nearly as studly as Dan. Of course, Dan brought his hairdryer.Photo: Uhm, I think that is the general direction we are going. Not sure. At this point I was nearing a level of exhaustion that made me not care about taking a good picture.Photo: This is the second time on day one that we broke free from the woods and into the sunlight. I think there was a slight overhang to the trail we just hiked. It was that steep. Gravity is the stupidest thing ever. But it didn't bother Dan much because he brought a pair of suction cup shoes.Photo: Ryan's like the happiest, quietest guy alive. Sometimes I didn't think he was real--he was that quiet. I'd hear people talking about him, and I knew we brought him with us, but for most of the trip I thought he was a myth. So I had to take a picture of him. By the way, we're headed to that peak behind him. Ugh.Photo: Potty break. Just kidding. We never went to potty in the woods because none of us could stand the thought of going outside. *Finger in mouth.* Actually, this is where we decided to have a push up contest. Craig went first and did twenty-five half push ups. We all decided he was the winner and didn't push ups.Photo: Your fabulous photographer and Craig. This is right before a wild turkey jumped from behind those bushes and tried to manhandle Craig. Lucky I had Jed's machete ready. [You can't see it, but the machete was tucked in the back of my pants.] I dismembered the turkey and made a pair of underwear out of him and gave it to Dan. Dan was so overcome by gratitude he gave me his blowdryer. Since I don't have any hair, I through it in the woods. Don't tell Dan.Photo: These are the steers who protect the mountain. Fortunately Dan had some steer treats in one of his backpacks and so bribe the great steer to let us continue. See, the steer on the right is looking the other way as we pass.Photo: Dan is wondering how our group got so big.  He forgot he hired seven people to carry all of his backpacks. I had to keep reminding him.Photo: Israel talking to himself before he climbs that mean hill in front of him.Photo: For some reason I have another shot of the great steer. I'm not the best photographer. Or smartest.Photo: Dan waiting for his servants to catch up with him.Photo: Israel, Craig and Ryan round the hill first.Photo: That's enough to get Dan moving again.Photo: This is one of the many bronze plagues Dan brought with him to celebrate each mountain he topped. What you don't see is  the concrete drill and industrial glue he used to install it. The guy has it down like a science. Twenty-seven seconds flat.Photo: Yeah, so false alarm. We weren't at the top. That--just above Craig's head--is the top. It was like that the whole time. “Is this the top? Is THIS the top? IS THIS THE TOP!? If it wasn't for the inflatible hottub Dan brought along I think we would have all been at each other's throats.Photo: Craig wanted to know what it would be like to hike mountains as a pregnant woman, so he started carrying Israel's backpack. He carried it all the way to the next hill over yonder.Photo: If you can't read lips, Israel is saying, “Yep, we just came from the top of that moutain. ”Photo: Your faithful photographer. I'm not smiling. I'm gritting my teeth. My shoulders hurt. My toes were sore. My legs were screaming. Things were getting pretty spiritual at this point. The turkey-slaying machete is the orange-handled thing you see sticking out my backpack. Knowing it was there kept me going.Photo: Dan, Craig and Israel after hiking their first eleven miles. Amazing what extreme exercise can do to a man's body. No, just kidding. These are two gentlemen we met at the first shelter. Bryan and Paul. They turned out to be Believers so we had a wonderful time of fellowship with them.Photo: What a typical Appalachian Trail shelter looks like. You sleep in it, if you were wondering.Photo: Photo: Photo: Believe it or not, but that mountain in the center of the picture is the mountain we were on yesterday. It's like three or four miles away.Photo: Craig shoulder deep in blueberry bushes.Photo: Lots of pooped out people wondering what in the world they got themselves into. Except for Ryan.Photo: Yep, we have to hike to the top of that mountain. And we did. This is the middle of the afternoon on day two. “We have to go where?”Photo: Craig and Ryan celebrate. What, I don't know because were not even close to finish. Were MAYBE half way.Photo: At the top of one knob looking back at the knob we just came from. At this point I was too pooped to take anymore pictures. Besides, this pretty much ended the panaramic, beautiful pics. From here on out we were pretty much in the woods. The End.