Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rain and Snoring...

Hello everyone,

I've made it to Fontana Dam.  There's no cell service here so my apologies for not calling anyone.  I've got 15 minutes on the hiker hostel's compuer ... so I've decided to post an update.  Tomorrow, after I pick up my resupply box, I'll head into the Smokey Mountains. Things feel good.  Feet are sore, calf is better and my outlook, regardless of the weather, is good. 

The weather has been a bit wet lately.  Yesterday, just as I made it to the last three walled shelter before decending into Fontana Dam, the skies opened up and I experienced thunder and lightening, like I never have before.  Whooo weee!  The rain came down in sheets.  Nature is more than impressive.

Three of us made it to the shelter without getting wet.  There was me, Koop and Itchy Balls.  Others showed up but I don't recall their names.  A man and woman showed up, chatted a while and then set back out in the downpour.  Another guy showed up but is a hammock camper, so he trecked off into the woods and hung his hammock.  Backpacker hammocks aren't like your typical backyard hammock.  They're more like a tent that's suspended between two trees.  They have rain flies (just like a tent) but they're lighter and more compact so that makes them popular with thru hikers.

As the rain continued to pour and the lightening filled the sky I decided that the eight miles I'd hiked that day might just be enough.  Koop, Itchy and I chatted about everything from politics to computer electronics before we all cooked up our own dinners and rolled out our sleeping mats and bags for the night.  The rain continued to pour and I found myself hoping that it was stop by this morning because I didn't want to hike in such a torrent. 

We talked late into the night.  The rain continued to pound on the shingle roof and the cold night air crept in to the three walled shelter.  We drifted off to sleep listening to the rain and thunder. 
I'm not sure what woke me up first, Itchy's snoring or the thunder cell which seemed to be directly over the shelter.  The lightening flashed and I counted one one thousand, two one thousand before the loudest thunder clap I've ever heard.  I swear it shook the ground.  The power of nature is amazing.

The rain continued and I sat up in my sleeping bag to watch it.  Finally getting sleepy again I decided to lay back down to get some rest.  It was then that I realized just how bad Itchy's snoring was.  He was turned on his side, facing me, and sorning at what might equate to a jet engine decible level (but I've been told that my snoring is just as loud).  After enduring several hours of this torture, I came to the decision that anyone subjected to four or more consecutive hours of freight train style snoring should only be charged with a misdemeanor should they be unable to resist the urge to strangle their shelter companion. "Encroachment," which Itchy was also guilty of should further reduce the strangulation penalty to a simple infraction and $50 fine.  Ultimately, there was no harm and no foul ... but I never thought I'd be spooning with a guy named Itchy Balls in the middle of a rain storm, in the middle of a forrest.  Next time I think I'll take my chances in my tent! 

This morning, albeit a bit blurry eyed, I crawled out of my sleeping bag and into a picture perfect day.  A perfect day for hiking.  :-) 

Well ... until next time.  I hope you are well and enjoying every moment of every day.

Happy Trails,


  1. OMG...this was such an AMAZING POST!! I really felt like I was right there - witnessing the torrential downpour...although, I just know nothing I could imagine would duplicate the REAL sound of that thunder...or Itchy's snoring! Good Grief! The description was just perfect! Be safe and keep up your positive attitude! AOE!

  2. Yahtzee:

    I almost projected my dinner out my mouth about your spooning Itchy Balls comment!!

    I sent you a cell txt message but probably never got it. Basically Nixon knew all along how to use the doggie door. He was just afraid of the SNAPping noise mine makes with strong magnets. He was running in/out at the other house, so I took the magnet out and... voila! You CAN teach an old dog a new trick!!

  3. Holy moly...spooning with a guy named itchy balls with a louder than thunder snore. OMG!!! What stories you have and not even a month in...

  4. Hi friend ! Love this wonderful post for a "back to work Monday" !! Did one inquire "where the label of "itchy balls" came from, or do I really want to know ?? LOL !!!!!

    I love extreme weather too...but never get to experience much of it from our ever so mild So Cal !! Sounds like a friggin' party w/ MOTHER NATURE !! Fun stuff maynard !

    I'll close w/ another fav quote:

    "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish" ~ John Quincy Adams

    Carry On Yahtzee !!! Big hugs !

  5. Well you did say that you wanted to experience the true nature of the AT Experience.
    Are you sure it was itchy who was snoring and not me all the way from Id?
    Take care my friend

  6. Hey there Yahtzee,

    Our mutual friend StacieS forwarded your blog on to me as I was supposed to depart for my very own AT adventure this year but had to put it off for 2 yrs so I am going to live vicariously through you for now. Great post and wishing you serenity and many sublime lessons that only nature can teach along the way! -Linus

  7. Monika SummerfieldApril 26, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    Hi Yahtzee, you are having a true adventure, reading it is like watching a good movie, where you think what is worse, going out in the dark night into the roaring thunder or spooning with snoring Itchy ball...
    sending you love, light and energy vibes from my cozy, dry living room. Know any additional support is available.

  8. Hi Lori, Well you did set out on this trip for adventure. I am sure that itchy balls will be a story you will have to tell for the rest of your life. Just know your yogaettes friend are watching over you with every step you take. Patty

  9. I'm catching up here since it's been some time since I've hopped on your blog and am laughing out loud at this post - some story girl. Can't wait till you get back where we get to ask you all the questions you have to answer in person as we sit in front of you anxiously awaiting your response to things like: Now really tell me about "ichy balls"


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