Prelude to the trip
Craig on the Appalachian Trail
To fully appreciate the trip reports that will appear regarding the 2002 Father-Son backpacking trip, I thought you should read a couple of emails sent prior to the trip. In an effort to help Craig pack, I sent my packing list to him and a food shopping list to Dad. Unfortunately I sent Craig my detailed packing list containing brands of items rather than a general packing list containing generic terms. This set off a bit of confusion on Craig's part which I didn't learn of until Lynelle clued me into it. I then followed the initial list by a more understandable list. Craig, seeing the humor in it all sent me the following email; my reply follows it. (To help make things clear, Nunatak is the brand name of my sleeping bag and a bivy is a small one-man tent)
I don't want you to think that this is my first trip. First off, an experienced hiker knows that on the food list there should be meat and potatoes. I see no steak or hamburger, I see no baked or fried potatoes. Second my bivy sack is just fine thank you. My nunatak was hurting last week and it feels just fine today. And just to let you know I don't want just any ass carrying my supplies. I expect a well trained one that I don't have to worry about running off or being stubborn. I have a five gallon, a one gallon, and a couple of liter water jugs. Should I bring them all or should just one be enough? Instead of hiking to prepare myself, I decided on resting my injured foot and drinking a little more. I feel that I should be ready for anything that could be thrown at me. What exactly did you mean by me guarding the food anyway?
Plans are to pack this week sometime.
Got the food covered--we'll have meat, both hooved and winged. Initially my plan was to bag an Elk for the first dinner, but then I remembered we will have one of those ranger types along with us--they get kind of pissy when someone shoots one of their Smoky Mountain Elk. So, I've got the beef. Snipe, on the other hand, are free for the taking in the park, but only on the NC side. Your hunting prowess is legendary, so we'll let you descend into NC on the second day while we're on the AT to catch snipe for dinner.
I don't understand the concern about your ass. Connie said it is well-trained, except around meal time. Dad even told me it walks on two legs, but that he expected to see it on four by the end of the second day--might even see it dragging. My personal advice is don't mention that word to loudly. Remember we'll be in the Appalachian's and those people are plain weird!
Bring all those water containers. The five gallon one will be just right for the Scotch. The rest will be needed for water. I'm famous for always experimenting with something on a trip and this year Dad and I will be carrying dehydrated water. We'll need you for backup if the experiment fails.
Don't worry about guarding the food. You'll be allowed to carry all three bear sprays at that time, although it's considered far more manly to eat PB&J sandwiches and use a fly swatter to fend off any marauders. By the way, the wild hogs feed at night, so you can bag one of those while you're at it and we'll have bacon for breakfast. The park's trying to get rid of them anyway. They do frown on guns, but you should be able to snare one easily enough. In fact, I think I have just enough time to rig up a fly swatter with a snare on it....
See you soon,