Posts filed under ‘Joe Frambach’

How to Tell a Thru-Hiker

I’ve heard a some jokes that start with “What’s the difference between a thru-hiker, a section hiker and a day hiker?”  I don’t remember the punchlines which probably means I didn’t find the jokes all that clever.  I think a “cold beer” was involved somewhere.

Joking aside, there are some very real hints that a person you meet on the trail is a thru-hiker.  For example, I find the thru-hiker smell rather distinctive.  And it can be pretty potent.  There are times in the summer, where I can smell an approaching thru-hiker before I can see them or hear them.  It’s actually quite handy as it gives me plenty of time to leash the dogs…or if I’m on an ascent, make myself appear less fatiqued than I am.  🙂

Today, when I met Joe to relinquish custody of his wallet, I uncovered another hint to keep in mind. 

After our initial introductions and greetings, I asked, “Are you hungry?”

“I just had a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.” Joe said and then he added– “I’m starving.”

Definitely a thru-hiker.


June 7, 2008 at 1:00 pm 7 comments

The Wallet Reunion

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

June 6, 2008 at 10:54 pm 8 comments

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