The Wallet Reunion

June 6, 2008 at 10:54 pm 8 comments

One of my cousin‘s classmates is thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer to raise money for Gilda’s Club.  He goes by the trailname “Grandpa Joe“.  In Tennessee a few weeks ago, Joe stopped at a Baptist church and accidently left his wallet and his cell phone behind.  All his mother had to go on was “a Baptist church in Tennessee”.  The search looked daunting, but she starting placing phone calls nonetheless.

“Do you have any idea how MANY Baptist churches are in Tennessee!!!!!” she wrote.

Somehow she found the right church AND they had Joe’s wallet!  They mailed them to Joe’s mother and since Joe was heading northbound that meant he was coming my way.  Early last week I received Joe’s wallet in the mail.  And today, when Joe arrived in Pearisburg, Virginia at the base of my very favorite mountain, I returned his possessions.

Joe hiked 200 miles without his wallet or his cell phone

I ended up spending a good portion of the day with Joe and another thru-hiker who goes by “Gonzo“.  I took them into Blacksburg for 1/2 pound Mike’s Burgers which they both wolfed down with ease.  We went on a brief tour of the Virginia Tech campus, but the hit of the day may very well have been…my internet connection.  Both hikers got to catch up on email, blogs and most importantly, got to upload pictures of their journeys.

Gonzo (in the hat) mans the desktop, meanwhile Joe works on my laptop

In the afternoon, I returned them where I found them (LEAVE NO TRACE!)– back in Pearisburg, Virginia.  Tomorrow they will continue on their trek to Maine.

I think I can make a solid case that I helped out Joe’s cause today.  Of course, odds are he isn’t going to lose his wallet again, so you can’t readily follow in my lead that way.  But, there is something you CAN do.  You can always make a tax-deductible donation to Gilda’s Club.  🙂

Additional Links
Gilda’s Club of Western Pennsylvania
Joe’s FirstGiving Donation Site
Joe’s Trail Journal
My Cousin’s Blog (which features regular Joe updates)
Gonzo’s Blog

Entry filed under: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Joe Frambach.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. How to Tell a Thru-Hiker « TGAW  |  June 7, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    […] when I met Joe to relinquish custody of his wallet, I uncovered another hint to keep in […]

  • 2. Angel  |  June 8, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    haha, leave no trace!

  • 3. tgaw  |  June 8, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Heh. Apparently the thru hikers did leave a trace in my house. Sean came home from a golf trip, turned on the computer and almostly instantly exclaimed, “What the– someone’s erased my browser history!”


  • 4. AA  |  June 9, 2008 at 7:22 am

    What do thru-hikers need a wallet for? 😉

  • 5. Sour Swinger » Blog Archive » A Visit To My Cousin  |  June 9, 2008 at 9:30 am

    […] The Wallet Reunion « TGAW on Absent Minded Joe FrambachVicky on May Blog StatsClintJCL on May Blog StatsSour Swinger » […]

  • 6. Vicky  |  June 9, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    @AA– It turns out, one’s ID is pretty important. You can’t pick up packages at the post office without a photo ID and in Bland, Joe got denied Internet access at the public library because he had no identification. Joe reported that living without an ID was “like living in the 1800s.”

  • 7. Irma  |  June 11, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Don’t miss what hikers call “the best hostel on the trail” – Grace AT Thru-Hiker Hostel in Waynesboro, VA
    We’ll be looking for you Grandpa Joe!

  • 8. Grandpa Joe  |  June 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I’m at the Grace Lutheran Church hostel in Waynesboro right now. I met Irma yesterday! Great reception in town. Wonderful services, incredible hospitality. Best hostel on the trail, by far!


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