Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Welcome to Kickass Cove
We hiked into Wood's Hole, a small hostel right off the trail, where the owner was just heading out for Damascus with two open spots in his car. Without missing a beat, we were on our way to Trail Days a day early. For those who don't know, Trail Days is by far the biggest hiker bash on the AT. 25,000 people fall upon the small town of Damascus for a four-day festival of free food, festivities, and debauchery. All I could expect was pure insanity.
Turns out I was right.
We got together with some old friends from the trail, staked our claim on some prime real estate in Tent City, and Kickass Cove was born. It helped that one of our friends was aptly named "Joe Kickass", but over the next four days, we proved why we earned the title.
First was our undeniable sense of a good time. We arranged the parties, we stayed up the latest, and we brought a good time wherever we went. People knew us and those who didn't wanted to. Soon word spread that Kickass Cove was the place to be and it lived up to the hype. That's how we roll.
Second was the complete domination of the festival's competitions. Winston (the best chocolate lab ever) won the "Best Trick" contest in the dog show. The dog can climb trees for crying out loud - that was a lock. Snarl (a friend from the first day) won a pair of trekking poles in a raffle. So did his girlfriend. However, the biggest pull of Kickass Cove from the whole weekend was my own.
I caught wind that their was a Hiker Talent Show on Saturday. After I hired Rainman as my manager, I began spreading the word of my vocal percussion skills and I rolled up to the competition with a posse about 20 deep. One act after another got on stage and either sang a song or played the guitar. I could see the crowd slumping and losing interest. They chatted amongst each other and checked their watches so they didn't miss the next raffle.
I hit the stage to an ovation from my posse and started fast, kept it up, switched it up, did the beat and the chorus at the same time and my mark was made. It was a lock - I was deemed the 2009 Trail Days Hiker Talent Show champion.
Don't worry - Mama Ahab knows.
It was great to see old friends, make new ones, and put a face to the names we had heard over the past two months during Trail Days. Free food, free gear, and a great weekend to just get off of our feet for a while. To make things even better, my parents picked me up from Damascus and treated us to a much needed detox day. Good to share stories and get the renewed support every hiker out here needs to keep going.
I'm refreshed, healthy, and happy to be back on the trail. There are so many stories it's incredible, so you'll all just have to wait until I get home. The anticipation is killing you, I know!
Right now it's time for bed.