Journal 262-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Sunday–November 21, 2021
Trail Day–262
Trail Mile–0.8/2617.7
Remaining Miles–0.00
Location–Southern Terminus, Pinhoti Trail, to Flagg Mountain Tower

At Southern Terminus of the Pinhoti

Odyssey 2021 Bama to Baxter – Hike On, was successfully concluded on at 1:00 pm when I hiked the final mile, from the southern terminus of the Pinhoti Trail, to the tower atop the summit of Flagg Mountain.

Signing the last register of Odyssey 2021 Bama to Baxter- Hike on!
Cresting Flagg Mt to be greeted by many friends.
Approaching the Flagg Mt Lookout Tower

Friends and well-wishers came from near and far to congratulate me and share in my joy at the finish of this long, difficult journey.

A special moment
Climbing the newly constructed stairs of the old Lookout Tower for a special ending to a long odyssey

2617 miles.
The hike back to the cabins with many friends
Presentation of Proclamation by the Governor, presented by Mark Tuggle
Friends enjoying the celebration with food and music
The Blue Grass Connection!
Book signing time!

Great BBQ served by our friends at Good old Boys!

Viewing of the “Last Last Hike”

Thank you one and all…
God Bless,
Sunny (Nimblewill)

Count it all joy, my brothers,
when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

(James 1:2-4)

Thank you photo credits go to the many friends that shared pictures from the day on our Friends of Flagg Facebook group.

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)

Journal 260-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Saturday–November 6, 2021

Trail Day–260

Trail Mile–12.4/2606

Remaining Miles–11.7

Location–Goose Pond Road (1548.7) to West Branch Road (1561.0), then to home of Mike & Carol Whalen and son, Craig, Otis, Massachusetts

Trying to wrap my head around the thought–one more day, just one more day and this long journey will come to an end.

Thankfully, on trail today and hiking with me: Slim Jim, Kitchen Sink & Pooter Scooter. They watch over me, help and support me with compassion and understanding–as I struggle uphill and downhill through the mud and leaf-covered rocks and roots. I fall a lot and whine a lot. Ahh, but does not their patience and good humor carry me through–this long, tiring day…

 

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
     Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
    From morn to night, my friend.
  (Christina Georgina Rossetti)

 

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