The Reintroduction of “Trash Jäger”
We picked up a hitch from Blairsville within 5 minutes. Our eyes kept on the sky as the storm front, rolled in over the Appalachians. Lumen, a key component to our joke spirals, and I sent out into the rain. One of our group forged ahead, he was determined to work through the fog in his head. Another of our group was held up getting a shake down. As lumen and I walked the skies shook. We kept ascending and descending, over balds in the thunder clouds and under boughs of looming swaying trees. It came down to us letting go and not giving a f***. Instead of dwelling over the negative, we laughed over humor that spiraled the drain. Instead of laying in the mud after a fall, I rolled into it and ended in a ninja pose. Later that day, a guy approached us down a mountain. His face looked petrified-stuck in a distraught contortion. It was our friend. He had made his peace with the trail and was going home. It was a rough day. The hardest to date. We only made it through by supporting each other.
Rolling out of bed late, we came directly into trail magic. The two taken kiwis aided a 12 mile day. The last mile of the day was a brutal climb up to Blue Mountain Shelter. The shelter housed some of the boys I met from Gooch Shelter, now referred to as The Boyz. We made a fire and talked of why we were here. They are raising money for childhood cancer treatment. I’m out here being a total bum. Funnily enough, we bonded and have been keeping up with each other.
The next day we rolled out late, again. I gave the tried and false statement, “15 minutes.” They now know it’s a range from 15-50 minutes. A relatively challenging day ended with the ascent up Tray Mountain. At camp came the evolution of the “Trash Jäger”: While regaling The Boyz with the story they stopped me with a laugh. While on a side adventure at Woody Gap, they explored a ditch along the road. Where they found a 3/4s full bottle of Jäger. They kindly placed the Jäger in front of some trashcans. The same trashcans we found our “Trash Jäger,” henceforth, known as Ditch Jäger. The next morning we crawled out of our sleeping bags before the sun. Our high situated camp hugged a bluff overlooking south Georgia. Atlanta’s light pollution bubbled over the horizon. The early morning magenta sighed into night’s release as we spoke of the trail so far, the Smokies, and the memories to come.
We made a mad dash between active recovery, replenishing our BACs and resupply. With a couple stumbles and the threat of a cold snap we made our way on trail.
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