Journal 261-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Sunday–November 7, 2021
Trail Day–261
Trail Mile–10.9/2616.9
Remaining Miles–0.00 (Appalachian Trail) and 0.8 (Pinhoti)
Location–West Branch Road (1561.0) to Tom Levardi’s Home in Dalton (1571.9), then to home of Mike & Carol Whalen and son, Chris, Otis, Massachusetts

A restless night; understandable I suppose! Barry has hot coffee and breakfast prepared for me shortly after five, and by six we’re back to the trailhead at West Branch Road–where Barry sends us on our way.

Here, and hiking with me this final day, so many dear friends: Slim Jim, Kitchen Sink, Pooter Scooter, Mayor, Slider & Neighbor Dave. It’s another blue-perfect hiking day, crispy-cold and clear.

This is an average-mile day, over moderately level and friendly terrain, some rocks and roots, some mud, a bit of climbing to a fine vantage, then a short roadwalk through Dalton to Tom Levardi’s home on Depot Street–where folks have gathered to welcome and congratulate me. A firm hug from Tom, then from Grey Beard (current AT thru-hike AT record holder).

On the front steps of Tom’s lovely old home, Grey Beard presents me with a beautifully engraved hiking stick, a symbolic transfer of the age record from himself to me. An incredibly emotional time, as I again break down in tears.

Log book for Odyssey 1998

Grey Beard then performs his famous “Victory Dance” for me, and all present lift a congratulatory cup of champagne.

Then the unavoidable sad goodbyes–to  Tom, Grey Beard, Slim Jim, Slider, Neighbor Dave, Dan Morton & Barbie Howland, and later to: Pooter Scooter & Mayor.

Evening, Barry, Kitchen Sink and I return to the Whalen’s home to rest the night before heading back south–and home.

Finally, to all who’ve supported me, to the legions who’ve encouraged me, and to my generous sponsors, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for this amazing journey!

Odyssey 2021 – Bama to Baxter – Hike On

 

O Lord that lends me life,
lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
(William Shakespeare)

73 Comments on “Journal 261-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

  1. Read your book. Very inspiring. Then walked with you on this trip from beginning to the end. BZ! Proud of you for making the whole trip again. You deserve any applause and praise you get for doing it again. Now go rest and take short hikes!

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  2. Congratulations on completing your epic journey – again! You are a tremendous inspiration to us all. May God continue to bless you with soft trails, easy climbs and scenic vistas!

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  3. Hello Mr Nimbleweed Nomad, I am with weather.com (Weather Channel) and would love to speak with you about your AT adventure. Congratulations on the amazing trek. If you have a moment, please let me know if you’re interested. Thank you for your time, Dan (dan.wright@ibm.com)

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  4. Hi Eb. Just saw the post about your recent AT thru-hike. Incredible achievement! I hope you are well. Please shoot me an email at some point. Happy trails.
    Mark “Carolina Cruiser” Flagler

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  5. MANY CONGRATS FROM US NIMBLWELL ON YOUR EPIC HIKE.!! LOVED ALL YOUR PICS AS WE FOLLOWED YOU ALONG THE WAY. HAD HOPED TO BE WITH YOU AT TOMS ON YOUR FINISH AS WE ARE ONLY 45 MIN AWAY BUT WE WERE SAD THAT IT DIDNT WORK OUT FOR US. . THE VIDEO OF YOUR COMPLETION IS WONDERFUL!

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  6. My hats off to you for a “job well done”! I have followed you from the beginning and prayed for you along the way, always jealous of the beautiful sights you are able to see. At 68 years old, I walked from Pittsburgh to Orlando 2 years and thought that was a big deal – I now like a wimp compared to what you’ve accomplished – at 82!!
    You the man !

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  7. Congratulations! Thanks for taking the time to keep a journal. It was fun following along. Have a safe trip back home.

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  8. Wow. What a trip. I have been following since you started posting.Congrats on the magnificent achievement.

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  9. A hearty and blessed AMEN, to an awesome journey, Nimble Will Nomad❣️What an achievement you have put in the record book ❤️ 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻❣️What a grand day to reach, after so many miles, friends, emotions, with so much heart, and an indomitable spirit❣️Well done, thou good and faithful servant❣️❤️🙂

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  10. Congratulations! I am in awe of your spunk! Your gift of writing made my trip with you such a joy. Now it’s time to rest and recuperate.

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  11. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your journey. I’ll miss reading your inspiring blog posts. They’ve been the first thing I’ve looked for in my email.

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  12. Congratulations! Well done!
    I have followed your journey from beginning to end. I will miss checking my email for your latest entries. I prayed every day that you would not suffer a serious injury.
    Now take time to rest and recover. And take care of your feet!

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  13. congratulations, will miss your daily journals. God Bless You and your next adventures.

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