Nina Baxley: Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker

Hampton, Tennessee

Date: November 22, 2000
Location: Kincora Hostel, Hampton, TN
Miles Hiked: 1,763.0
Miles Remaining: 404.1

Ahhh. . .life is good. I'm sitting on the couch at Kincora Hikers' Hostel, being warmed by the wood stove, drinking hot chocolate, and thinking about how nice it is to be INSIDE each night during this cold snap we're having.

Kincora Hostel has only been around since the mid-1990s, but it already has the reputation of being among the best hostels on the AT. Bob and Pat Peoples, the owners, operate a cabin for hikers that includes bunks, a washer/dryer, shower, and this wonderful wood stove. Bob has also been shuttling me all over creation, which allows me to slackpack during the day and sleep at the hostel at night. Not a bad deal!

I've learned on the AT that the world is full of trail angels. If anyone has ever lost their faith in humanity, they should just hike the Trail. I've been amazed and overwhelmed by the kindness of people I've met out here. If you've read my previous GORP updates, you've seen how"trail magic" has enhanced my hike immeasurably.

But it's often other thru-hikers who step in to help you out when you most need it. For example, Blue Skies gave me some of her food when I ran out in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, and Shepherd gave me his ankle brace when I sprained my ankle (again!) in Massachusetts. I've helped other hikers out, too, when I've seen them in need. Even though we southbounders are few and far-between, we still have a real community of giving and friendship out here.

Several days ago, at Wise Shelter, I found myself in need of much more than food or gear. I needed serious help. [MORE. . .]


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