Stephen & Wes's Appalachian Adventure | Part 5 | Slim & Upchuck
Trail names. For many of us normal folk, this isn't a term we would commonly use. But for two guys who decided to walk for 4 months straight, the term is quite normal. In fact, for many hikers, trail names are actually a thing. It's kind of like a nickname...only it's not.
Upchuck. What do you think of when you read that name? Do you think of vomit? Do you think of being sick? Do you think of Stephen Level?
I thought so, and conveniently, it just so happens to be his "trail name".
Mr. Carter and Mr. Level, with wisdom beyond their years, thought it best to rename Mr. Level once Mr. Carter witnessed Mr. Level puking his guts out for a week. Fitting.
Mr. Carter's trail name, you might ask???
Because he's skinny.
He used to ride the bus to work, and one day a guy riding with him blessed him with that o' so original name that we commonly associate with Slim Shady AKA Eminem AKA Marshall Bruce Mathers III. So, thanks for that one, guy-on-the-bus.
Now, Slim and Upchuck haven't had it easy, but things are looking up for this dynamic duo. In addition to staying to a historic hotel, the Doyle (over 100 years old), when I asked them their thoughts on the journey thus far, here’s what I got in response:
Upchuck: “Starting to get more positive. At first I was like ‘why the hell am I doing this?’. Now I'm beginning to enjoy it and see how amazing it is. Definitely excited for the future.”
Slim: “I feel like you're going to ask this a lot and I'm not sure it'll ever be an easy one to answer. Well, I think Stephen and I are definitely getting the hang of things and it's just a matter now of putting all that we've learned into practice and making it into a routine. I will say sometimes the way these trails are, it's a stretch to call what we do hiking. Often times we just do our best to control our stumbles and falls into something that resembles forward motion! But each day seems to get easier physically but mentally, at least for me, harder and harder. I miss Haley a hell of a lot and I think because of that, Maine seems really far away. But through pain of all sorts, we trudge on with Katahdin always on our minds but not yet in our sights.”
Upchuck: “Something interesting that happened today: We set up our tents right off of the trail, and a little bit later a group of at least ten older women hiked by. They asked us our trail names and told us they were called the Shedevils and that they meet every Wednesday to hike and have a picnic. They invited us to join them at the picnic. So we did. We left our gear in our tents and hiked 1.6 miles down and off of the ridge to eat with them. Didn't leave them till 9:30 and had to hike 1.6 miles back up the ridge in the dark. Saw a porcupine on the way back. It was definitely an adventure, not quite sure if the food was worth 3.2 miles though. Haha”
And last but not least...pictures:
Slim, searching for his rap lyrics at Tom's Run (AND THERE'S THAT NAME AGAIN...FREAKING TOM!)
"a candle we found and sat by at this shelter" Upchuck
Sunrise at Tom's Run
"We were on top of those hills" Upchuck
Sunrise at Boiler Springs, Monday morning
Upchuck, getting his new shoes and poles in Boiler Springs
A pipeline clearing on the hike to Duncannon