A Northerner in the South

To resupply I have to get into town somehow. My first experience with this was getting a ride into Helen, GA. A local guy by the name of TJ offers to give folks rides into town for a small fee.

I was hiking with Spirit Bear at the time and he’d arranged for the ride. As we hiked into the gap we saw TJ with his beat up white pickup truck and a bunch of other hikers milling around trying to figure out how to get into town to resupply. We loaded our stuff into the truck and a couple of hikers got into the back. As Spirit Bear and I crawled into the front seat a fist fight broke out between two backpackers (brothers) and one asked if he could get into the back of the truck to get the heck out of there.

After he piles in TJ starts the truck and tries to pull out of the parking lot. After it stalls three times we finally are on the road heading into town. I notice that there is a skeleton hung from the rearview mirror and a gator on the dash. I’m a bit afraid the passenger door might fly open so I’m holding it closed with one hand and leaning towards the inside of the truck just in case.

“Where you from?” TJ asks me in a thick Georgian accent after Spirit Bear says he’s from Atlanta.

“Boston I say,” admittedly full of pride in my city and state after having gone through the recent terrorist ordeal.

“Hrmph,” is the reply, and then, presumably jokingly, though I wasn’t completely sure, “We don’t take none too kindly to Yankees ’round here.”

I replied without even thinking, “We don’t either, we’re Red Sox fans where I’m from!”

Gruff laughter follows from TJ and Spirit Bear. Then TJ asked us to yell at the guys in the back to let them know not to lean against the tailgate, it’s popped open before.

3 thoughts on “A Northerner in the South

  1. Oh Patches, I totally forgot about the ride out of Unicoi. TJ, that guy would of freaked me out if it were not for me calling him ahead of time to pick us up. I got referred to him through Ron, the guy that owns the budget inn in AWOL’s AT guide. The truck stalling, so true, LOL. Tell them guys not to lean on the back, LMAO. Ha ha ha. Great blog thus far Patches, I’m glad I got to hike with you for a few days. Keep on Truckin towards your home state and eventually on to Maine.


    • I thought TJ definitely had character :) Did you notice that after we got out he got some tools from the back of the truck, popped the hood, and fixed something before heading back to the gap. I’m glad you made it to North Carolina and Standing Indian!


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