Friday, May 16, 2008

Lazy Days

If anyone doubts the relativity of time, they should become a hiker. On the way into Damascus, Mike and I hiked 26 miles before 3:45, an impressive feat. Now, at Trail Days, time seems to go so slowly (a good thing out here), and hours can be spent just chilling around the fire, meeting new people and seeing old ones. We've all been taking advantage of the free events in town; food, movies, talks and impromptu parties seem to be the norm every day, and the festival has barely even started. The weather has bee a little crappy, but rain and wind does little to dampen the spirits of thousands of hikers, especially when copious amounts of beer are involved. Without too much to do or write about, I thought I'd start a little glossary of trail terms for everyones amusement. Feel free to skip ahead if this is stupid.
"white-blazing"--a hiker committed to hiking 2,100+ miles of trail along the official route, which is marked with white blazes. I'm one myself, and while I don't consider myself a purist or anything, it just seem to be the most authentic way to do things.
"blue-blazing"-- taking side trails off the official route marked with blue blazes. While there are numerous loops that add milage in order to incorporate somenatural feature, this term is usually reserved for someone who takes a shortcut (such as at Standing Indian Mt in GA, where nearly 12 miles of tough climbing can be circumvented)
"yellow-blazing"-- hitch hiking past parts of the trail, so called because of the yellow traffic lines. Generally looked down upon by white-blazers unless there is an special circumstance. Often reserved for the people that choose to hitch to popular hostels or shelters to party; see also, "lazy jerks"
"slack-packing"-- Hiking for a day with only a small daypack with food and water. Usually arranged though a hostel with a shuttle service or friends with cars, the hiker is dropped off a days walk away from the hostel, from where they walk backwards towards it and are shuttled ahead again the next days with their full pack. Easier for older or sick people, though many are of the mentality that if you can walk 400 miles with a pack, another 15 isn't going to kill you.
"Camel up"-- Chugging a liter of water at a good source, then refilling your canteen so as to stay hydrated.
"Piped spring"-- The best kind of water source, where a pipe is driven straight into a spring and clear water comes out. Doesn't require any filteration or purification, except for the exceptionally neurotic.

Thats all I have time for now, will probably write again tomorrow just to kill some time, sorry the posts haven't been too interesting but with limited time I wouldn't even being to describe stuff in detail. Talk to you later.

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