Walken’

Powder River’s Appalachian Trail Journey from Georgia to Maine 2008

Archive for March, 2008

What a gift

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A little background here… I grew up in a state without a baseball team. But I love baseball. Because Wyoming has no MLB team, (or any professional sports, for that matter) most Wyomingites look to the Colorado Rockies. I for some reason have never been able to stand the Rockies. I do have a baseball team I hate in the New York Yankees, which is almost as good as having a team to love. But until recent years I never had a baseball team I could really call my home team. Then, in 2005, the Montreal Expos moved to Washington and became the Nationals. Finally, I had my own team. And it has been so exciting to be here on the ground floor for the first seasons of my new team.

One of the things I am REALLY going to miss during my hike is the Nationals, and this is made worse by the fact that this weekend they threw open the doors on their BRAND NEW STADIUM. I wanted to get tickets and go to the game Sunday, but we had to leave for the trailhead Saturday and it looked like there was no hope of seeing the new stadium before I left. However, because I just wanted to see it we walked over there before leaving town Saturday night to just see the new stadium and take a look around. They were holding and exhibition game Saturday against the Orioles, but there were no public tickets sold. This game was held just for season ticket holders and the construction workers, which by the way I think is extremely cool of them to do. I figured we would walk around the stadium and look longingly through the gates at all of those people eating hotdogs and wearing new curly-W hats. But when we were hanging out near the gate Mogo (my girlfriend’s trail name from her hike in ’98) asked some people exiting if we could have their tickets. We got in!

It is an amazing place. They have done a really great job with the new stadium. I love the location on South Capitol Street and the Anacostia. What a great send-off it was to be able to see a game before I head for the trail, and an incredible blessing of a night.

We’ve spent the weekend with some friends of Mogo’s and I’ll be on the trailhead tomorrow!

Departure!

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I leave at any moment now for the AT. I am sitting on a curb with my backpack and all my other stuff waiting for my girlfriend to pick me up. I will be on the trail by Monday. She is a former thru-hiker so we are very blessed by that. I just said goodbye to my last tour group for a while, and what a wonderful bunch of kids. (Yeah bus 4!) From where I sit I can see several hundred cherry blossom trees in full bloom, but few tourists. Washington Channel is calm as a pond today, but there are few boats out. Downtown D.C. is a zoo today with all the people and their baby strollers. They use them like battering rams to charge their way through the crowds, with the kids inside wide-eyed with fear. Thankfully, I have found a quiet spot away from downtown.

There have been baseball fans arriving for the Nationals game that starts in an hour at the brand-new stadium. We are going to check that out before heading for Atlanta. It is weird having some time to sit and reflect on what I am about to embark upon. I was staring at my pack earlier and wondering if we are going to get along. It might be a long trip to Maine if we can’t.

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