Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Insanity that was Trail Days

Lauren Leads the Class of 2007

The highlight of the weekend was the A.T. Thru-hiker parade on Saturday. It was basically a fun spirited water-baloon and squirt-gun fight between the townsfolk, spectators and hikers which all past, current and hopeful hikers marched behind their respective banners. Lauren led the charge, carrying the 2007 banner.

Our Ride to Trail Days, Matt, turned out to be a great guy from D.C. / Northern Virginia, who is attending his second one. He was planning to thru-hike himself this year, but was unable do to do so because of conflicts. Matt found our journal and itinerary (this site) through a Google search and contacted us with a message at Elmer's before we arrived there. His motivation to drive 2 hours each way to pick us up - in addition to the 5 hour drive down from D.C.? He wanted to help out some hikers in a way that he hopes his hike.

We camped out in a thicket, carefully avoiding the poison ivy, on the fringes of Riff-Raff Village. Other settlements we were near included Mellowville, Tent City, the Swamp, Quiet Town and Ewok Village. We've never been to Burning Man, but I'm sure these two festivals have some overlap.

Trail Days Parade

I'm not sure how many people turned out for Trail Days this year, but the above photo pictures the tail end of the parade. A projected 25,000 could have attended this weekend, (Damascus is a town of 1,000) but I don't know. It felt like 10,000 - 15,000 might have been here.

As expected, we experienced a bit of overload and are itching to get back on the trail. Tomorrow Matt will give us a ride back to Hot Springs, where we will stay at Elmer's one more night and then head out on the trail Monday morning.

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