This week started with a ride up to The Captain’s Party. Every year, this guy throws a huge party two weeks after Trail Days (which was where I started my hike in Damascus, VA), and has a giant hiker feed. He knows how to throw a party! There was tons of food, beer, limbo, karaoke, a bonfire and so much more. To get to his house you have to take a mini zipline across a river. Joker and I sang “Jackson” by Johnny Cash and June Carter for karaoke, and while they didn’t announce a winner, we know in our hearts that we won. 9:00pm is known as hiker midnight and we stayed up until 2:00am singing karaoke and telling stories around the campfire. It was just about perfect.
The next morning I packed up and attempted an easy 10 mile hike straight up a mountain. That sucked after staying up and drinking a little too much the night before. After huffing and puffing for hours, I made it to the shelter, and then following a quick nap, I stupidly decided to hike seven more miles to the next shelter. It was getting pretty dark and I was walking slow and a few miles in I see a baby black bear about 30 feet in front of me. He stops, stares at me a second and then runs away from me as fast as his little paws could take him. I was a bit freaked out, but decided to push on. No more than ten minutes later I looked down a little bit to my left to see a big black bear staring at me. This one wasn’t moving. That’s when my last four years of theatre training kicked in. I did what I do best and immediately broke out into song. A couple lines into my rousing rendition of “Get Out and Stay Out” from 9 to 5, the bear bolted off into the woods. I didn’t know if I should be proud of it or if that bear was telling me I need to practice more. Either way, that’s how I learned to appreciate my training and that I shouldn’t hike after dark. Have a “BEAR”y good week!
I am dedicating this hike to orphaned children at Heart for Africa in Swaziland. For more information, I hope you to visit my fundraising page at: gofundme.com/st984k