The Appalachian Albatross: Becoming Familiar with the “Hiker Hobble”.

The Albatross

The Appalachian Albatross, or more commonly known to most people as a thru hiker, is a curious and spectacular creature. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes but are typically brightly plumed, run in small groups, and have a unique smell. The lower half of their bodies are very heavily muscled and they are able to do long distances up and down steep terrain, all while carrying their homes on their backs. They do have estuaries placed along the trail where they like to go to sleep out of the rain sometimes, or for the social aspect. You can watch them seemingly fly up rocky inclines with their carbon, aluminum alloy, or wooden appendages that they carry. They are usually up before the sun and asleep at sundown. They laugh a lot, they eat more, and they cannot seem to walk on flat ground at all. Don’t believe me? Just watch…

They can be lured off of the trail by the promise of resupply, beer, pizza, cheeseburgers, fruit, but if you put a sidewalk there, they are going down.

Once an Albatross sits down for more than twenty minutes the next time they get up it will take a few minutes before they stop moving like an arthritic eighty year old, no matter what age they are. Everything hurts. EVERYTHING HURTS.

My recommendations for dealing with one of these incredible creatures, should you run into one, feed them and don’t make them walk on anything flat. Better yet, give them a ride, they have a really hard time when the white blazes go away.

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