#35: Zero day in Erwin

The weather is rainy and cold and atweather.org is reporting wind advisories so everyone has decided to stay put. Time is not an issue for Jesse so it’s better to enjoy the experience rather than having to hike in misery.

Jesse is enjoying the hostels. Fellow hikers have time to hang out and bond. In a hotel room you just watch tv and lay in bed. There is a group that painted a mural on the side of a building. Reminds me of the beautiful murals you can find down in Yellow Springs. Jesse is definitely talking a lot about going back and working at a hostel. Running a shuttle for hikers. Something involving the trail. I became very aware of the draw for Jesse very early on in this journey. It’s the spot where his soul has found contentment.

We were discussing hiker hunger. On the trail a 5 day supply of food is lasting him just 3 days now. And when he gets off the trail his body is demanding lots of food and calories. Last night he ate 3 medium pizzas himself! He said he’ll go to a restaurant . order a meal and then the waitress brings him a check. He said “Oh no, I have 2 more meals to eat!” This was something he just couldn’t plan for. That and hostel stays. Added but necessary expenses to keep the moral up and the body happy. There are some hostels along the AT that allow hikers to work for their stay and some can work for a week if they run low on funds. That is a nice option to have.

There is a guy who knows how to forage and Jesse is learning what ramps and fiddleheads look and taste like. He also found puffball mushrooms. I told Jesse how to make pizza using the puffball slices as the “crust”. Those are a huge hit at camp and bring out the best flavors of the mushroom. I’m glad he is learning a bit about foraging. I had hoped Glen Helen would have had a workshop on foraging but I never saw one scheduled. Besides food there are so many plants with medicinal purposes. With so many look alikes that are bad it’s not something you want to learn casually.

The weather looks to be improving in the next few days so he’ll be back on the trail putting down miles tomorrow. The terrain is much friendlier along this stretch so his milage should increase gradually in the coming weeks.

I’m hoping he’ll be sending a few more pictures before he heads back out. If so I’ll add those to this post as I receive them. He has his phone and he has a prepaid phone. Usually if one isn’t working he has some luck with the other. And, as always,he really appreciates the support from everyone. It really means so much to him.

2 thoughts on “#35: Zero day in Erwin

  1. Really enjoy following Jesse on the AT. The FB entries are always so informative and entertaining. We are on our way home to St Paris after a family reunion in TX and a cabin rental in the Smokies for several days. Went to Clingmans Dome and talked to several AT trekkers. Still love the Smokies but way too many people here…yeccch. I envy Jesse doing what he has always dreamed of. What an accomplishment. Good Luck. What is his nickname? We met a guy nicknamed ‘Banana’ yesterday. He said he would finish up sometime in August….Whoa!!!!!…….GoodLuck!!!!!!


    1. thank you! I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. I feel like I’m writing his diary somedays but I’m glad he has something not only to share with others but to look back on. I agree the Smoky’s are beautiful but yes, very people-y. He is finding much more joy in the small hiker towns along the way. I am so thrilled for Jesse. So many of us get to a point in life where we look back and wish we would have_____. We allowed Jesse to move up to DeGraff with us to save money and it was a joy watching and listening to him plan with such excitement. His trail name is Tree Man which he got his 2nd day on trail. He was so excited to get a trail name! I will mention Banana to Jesse. He may have run into him. Groups seem to pass back and forth among each other on the trail. Jesse gets access to the internet on a rare occasion at a hostel and pops on here to make sure I have everything done accurately. Gotta keep Momma on her toes! He was looking at September as an end date but is being optimistic about hitting August. He is not in a hurry for it to end,that’s for sure. If you ever use youtube you can look up the hiking viking’s vlog they are doing. They are “MN Hiking” on youtube. Great pair of guys. Jesse popped up several times in their last video. Such really amazing people in his life right now. Safe travels back home. You are missing nothing back here but rain and more rain. That drive to Texas is a long one I don’t miss. Used to visit one of my other boys down in Fort Hood. I believe that was the first time I started using the phrase, “I’m getting too old for this”. lol Thanks again!! Jesse is so appreciative of all the support.


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