What’s in a (trail) name??
Apparently, it is part of the “hiking culture” to have a trail name. It is a nickname that is bequeathed to you by your hiking comrades, usually after you pull some stunt or tell a story that should never have left your lips (in fact, there is a guy here who is named Lips)! When we signed up at Baxter State Park in Maine, the park ranger asked what our trail names were, so we told her what WE had already come up with…KatBird for me and Trail for James. This is NOT what you’re supposed to do but…rIgbt or wrong, it’s what we did.
KatBird is what my Dad has called me since I was a little girl (actually everyone in our family is “a bird,” – my Mom is GigiBird, my daughter is EBird and my son is JayBird). I’ve had plenty of other nicknames but this one has stuck.
James, on the other hand, dedicated his trail name to my biological mother, who passed away recently. Her last name was Trail, so it was simply perfect and very sweet, if I do say so myself!
Since we began the “100 mile wilderness,” we have met no less than 25 other thru-hikers, and I’m using this post as an excuse to ask their stories, because…quite frankly, they range from divinely inspired to….hilarious. You be the judge:
Calvin & Hobbs from Chicago, are a man and his 3 year old pit bull, who are hiking the trail together, and dog is carrying his own pack and food!
FastBreak from WV, tends to breakdown his campsite in mere minutes, starts hiking at daybreak (which is about 4-5am) and also zooms ahead to get camp set up ahead of his hiking buds.
Switchback from GA, is your outdoor superstar. He motivated a bunch of campers on a long hike in Texas by yelling “switchback!!!” every time they came upon one (which is an “annoying, pointless” trail zigzag, or horseshoe curve)!
Nine from Ohio, is missing a finger and has a good sense of humor about it.
We also met Laughing Star, Moose, Ole Man, Hippie Chick, Wild Child, Scout, Rolling Thunder, Poet, Shaman, Ishba, Preacher, Stretch, AJ, Toad, Birdie…
What would be YOUR trail name?? 🙂
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