Journal 253-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Saturday–October 30, 2021
Trail Day–253
Trail Mile–6.8/2527.6
Remaining Miles–90.1
Location–Dugway Road (1496.1) to Undermountain Road (1502.9), then to home of Barbie and Dan Howland, South Kent

What a grand home, that of Barbie and Dan Howland. They’ve opened their guest rooms to hikers. Barry, Slim Jim, Kitchen Sink and me, we’re the latest benefactors of their kindness and hospitality! To describe their place, the services they provide, I’d say they’re more closely aligned with a really classy B&B operation, certainty not a hiker hostel. Yet here they are and here we are–to be lavished and treated like family! I no sooner get settled in (my own private room and bath), than we’re called to supper in their lovely dining room, the finest of settings–to feast on out-of-this-world lasagna prepared by Dan!

Today comes in cold, windy, dark and rainy. These conditions have been forecast for days now. We were expecting it. So, plans, as far back as last Thursday, were to take a zero day today and just rest. Ahh, and what better way to spend my 83rd birthday!

But plans change. Radar shows a big gap in the storm; conditions are improving. For my remaining-days logistics plan to work, I need to try and get in a short six-plus mile day soon. Looking closely at the radar one more time, Kitchen Sink & I decide to go for it.

Slim Jim has invited his friend Milo and his two boys, Miles and Julian to hike a short distance with us this morning. A fun time climbing Mount Prospect together. Photo time, then Slim Jim hikes back down with them.

The rain comes and goes but remains gentle for the day. On the ridge we’re in the clouds. Here the trees collect moisture from the passing clouds and the wind shakes it loose to rain down on us. I don my poncho for a short time, but then the cloud-shroud moves on, providing us shutter-open, shutter-closed views down and across the Housatonic Valley. Continuing along the ridge past Mount Prospect, Raccoon Hill, and Wetauwanchu Mountain, here the tread is almost totally rock- and root-free, and Kitchen Sink and I are able to move out and make good time–just a couple of boulder fields, but the hike through them (one has a log ladder) is short and pleasant.

Descending to Salisbury, Barry hikes up to greet Kitchen Sink and me, then hikes back with us, a short roadwalk and a bit of open field–back to his van.

Evening, a wonderful birthday dinner provided and prepared for me by Barbie, Dan, Barry, Slim Jim & Kitchen Sink. A very special and amazing day with dear friends. Ahh, and many, many text and email messages wishing me a happy 83rd birthday…


Wise is the person who finds a reason
to make every day a special one.
(Leo Buscaglia)


27 Comments on “Journal 253-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

  1. Happy birthday Nimblewill! I have enjoyed following your journey. You are such an inspiration!!


  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!🥳 I have enjoyed all of your photos so much! 🌲🍄🍁Thank you for sharing your journey on the AT!❤️


  3. Hmm. I guess my comment didn’t stick. I love your smile and your persistence at doing this hike. I leave on my hike not long after you finish. Happy birthday, my friend!


  4. Happy birthday! Love reading about your adventure & seeing all the pics 😀 Hope you had a blessed day & praying for continuous blessings as you finish this epic journey (& all your days beyond this trip!)


  5. Happy Belated Birthday. I have been encouraged and inspired by each entry. I just happened upon your trek halfway through and followed ever since. The pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey.


  6. Happy Birthday! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your story. I’ll be following the rest of your journey with anticipation. What a true motivator and inspiration you are! 83 looks fabulous on you! My 50th was Oct. 27 and I feel as young as ever. I hope I’m as full of life and youth as you at 83! Stay strong and enjoy every minute. ❤️


  7. Happy Birthday, Nimble!!!!

    You are an inspiration. Love you blog and pictures!

    Keep on hiking!


  8. 💋🥳 happy happy belated birthday just seeing the new update this morning. Really enjoying following your experiences. God bless you on the rest of your journey looking forward to reading on and on.🌄


  9. Happy birthday Nimblewill! I also read every one of your posts.You are one amazing man.
    It will soon be over for you. I am glad for you, but your posts will be missed.
    God bless you!


  10. Wow . Many mile stones to achieve. So glad you are able to enjoy the beautiful journey. I am envious of that. Many happy trails to go Birthday Hiker. Calera Sunshine


  11. Happy Happy Birthday! I read every one of your posts.
    Larry Parks
    P.S. I pray for you every day. I can’t wait until you get back to Flag Mountain and we can have another fireside conversation.


  12. Happy 83rd Birthday, Nimble Will Nomad❣️🎵🎶🎵🎶
    I can see and hear by your accounts it was truly a happy and momentous occasion. So glad you had an awesome day with friends.
    Looking fit as a fiddle, Nimble Will. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you safe❣️Not far now❣️🥰


  13. Will – Enjoy reading of your journey.  Would love to talk to you on the radio in Sacramento.  We could perhaps tape an interview one evening after you finished walking, or middle of the day if you prefer.  Really, we can be flexible. Good luck to you on the remainder of your journey. Mark

    Mark Hoffmann, CTPOwner/Founder, Sports Leisure Vacationswww.sportsleisure.comCo-Host, The Travel Guys Radio Showwww.travelguysradio.com2000 President/2013 Chairman, Nat’l Tour Ass’n


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