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Sometimes the road trip can be as fun as the actual trip by Matt Johnston
It was March 2000 and I was on the sixth day of my AT hike out from Springer Mountain GA. By the time I reached the shelter it was getting dark, the weather that day had been miserable and I was too cold and wet to be bothered setting up my tent so I grabbed a spot in the shelter and laid out my sleeping bag. I quickly cooked my dinner and got into my sleeping bag, the remaining few spaces in the shelter quickly disappeared.
It was about 8pm and still pelting down and blowing a gale... out of the darkness a hiker arrives, a lady aged about 50 I guess. She was tiny, only standing about 5 feet tall. Managing to squeeze her butt down on the edge of the shelter, she promptly changed out of her wet gear and then proceeded to tell us that her trail name is 'Stormy'. She tells us that she is hiking the AT in sections and each time she comes out to hike the storms come, hence her trail name.
Then Stormy informs us all that she is going to sleep in a hammock slung between two trees with a tarpaulin over it (I mean you've got to be kidding!)... but before she sets up her unusual sleeping quarters she immediately goes about her dinner preparations.
Stormy whips out a tiny alcohol stove and a few miniature pots and pans and proceeds to cook a 3 course meal no less!
First course: Black Bean Soup, Second course: Vegetable Casserole along with a biscuit (a flat scone cooked in a miniature fry pan), Third course: A stewed fruit dessert.
After devouring this gourmet meal she quickly packs up and disappears in the night to set up her hammock. All in the shelter were amazed as we had never quite seen anything like the performance Stormy had just put on. One wag said he wouldn't have been surprised to see her whip up a Caesar Salad!
Postscript: Further along the trail I heard that at another shelter Stormy had cooked a cake on the spot and shared it with all in the shelter. It also seems that Stormy is a retired FBI agent and had entertained hikers with her many interesting stories.
About the AuthorDownunda is an Australian hiker who hiked part of the AT in 2000 and will resume his AT hike again in 2002.
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