March is when the abundance of starts happen in the Thru Hiker world or "Trail World" as one of the journalists calls it and my list of
First those who have started that I mentioned in an earlier post:
PrayerWalker is still off the trail as far as I can tell. She had a mole removed and biopsied when she got off and is now dealing with that (basil cell carcinoma), but plans to return before too long.
Bazinga is moving along nicely and updating regularly. His last position was 81.4 miles up the trail (plus the Approach) and he is doing great. The one thing about Bazinga's hike so far is he is exactly duplicated one of my hike plans so far. Each day he hikes the same mileage I have as a potential plan and stays in the same shelters or camping area. The one difference is he stayed at the Blueberry Patch Hostel a day or so ago and that will be closed by the time we hit the trail. So my plans are not complete bunk, at least not for Bazinga.
Those who are on the trail who I have started to follow since I established my 13 of 13:
Blues Man - A youngish gent who started on 16 February. His last post was on the first of the month where he was taking a zero after reaching Fontana Dam. He was staying in the Lodge. It is likely that he has headed into the Smokies and is somewhat out of contact for a while. I will continue to monitor.
Rash - Rash (start date 17 Feb) is another young man from NC who appears to be completely at home in the woods and on the trail. He seems to be having a great time and his last update had him also sitting at the Fontana Lodge and awaiting to see what the latest storm was going to dump on the Smokies. He is moving good and having a good time.
Groundpounder (aka Mace) - This 40ish looking guy's last know whereabouts was taking a zero in Franklin. The name Mace came from when he was alone in a shelter with a can of bear spray. He accidentally lit it off and maced himself out of the shelter. I'm sure he isn't sharing that story with his trail mates, so the name if mostly being used by his guest book visitors. He takes some boring videos of himself walking up a trail, with no dialog. Just his breathing and the views. GP started 18 Feb.
Boo Boo - Started 21st of February and his last log entry of the 3rd of March had him hiking through eight inches of snow as he tried to get 9 miles down the trail. The temps are quite cold. He is about 100 miles into his hike.
Bush Whacker - This guy is a multi-year hiker. He attempted a thru in 06 and came off the trail with a serious case of Guillian Barre Syndrome which seriously fucks you up. He came back in 2007 and finished his thru. Since then, he appears to start the trail each Feb and go for a few weeks to a couple months. He has also done the Florida Trail a couple times.
Those who have or planned to start from March 1st to March 6th:
Inchworm. No recent entries or anything that shows she has headed to the trail.
Sole Sister is another new hiker to my list. She was scheduled to start on 1 March, but I haven't seen any updates lately. Lisa told me about her and her situation. She is walking the trail for her long dead sister and has a heart breaking story about her.
Female Sasquatch - Starts today. I am rooting for her. She seems well prepared and in the right frame of mind (whatever that is) and should do fine.
So there you have it. Karma is due to start tomorrow and Infinity the day after. Another five from my list plan on hitting the trail this month. Good luck to all you Class of 2013. I'm rooting for you all.