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!

Love,   Hollywood

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



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