Once I have been with a person for about 7 days I put up short bios of them. I also did ones for Bevo and Chaos.
Note: Garfield has previously been called Bright Bags (he has neon stuff sacks for his food), but I am trying to convince him to change his trail name. I pretty much only call him Garfield, so that’s how I will now refer to him on the blog.
We have been hiking at about the same speed as Garfield since before the Smokies. The first time I really got to know him was when we were at Kincora Hostel (he had slackpacked 10 miles ahead to avoid fires). We caught up with him again in Damascus, and I suggested he start hiking with us. Lucky for us, he decided to go a little slow for two days, and met us on our way to Wise Shelter the day after we left Damascus.
Garfield has an incredible ability to eat food quickly. As a person who normally finishes their food long before everyone else I have been particularly impressed. We first saw this when he ate a 1 pound burger so quickly that he finished the whole thing before any of us even noticed that he started eating. He has continued to show his eating prowess throughout our trip. Stitch jokingly referred to him as the human garbage disposal after he ate most of a large bag of marshmallows we had leftover from s’mores. This, coupled with his favorite food being lasagna, makes the name Garfield a perfect fit (full disclosure, this name was not my idea).
Garfield is also very skilled with words, dropping phenomenal puns and other jokes throughout the day. While some people find them corny, I think they are hilarious.
He has lived his whole life in Pittsburgh, but is ready to try somewhere new (although he is not sure where). He is not sure what he will do next.
Bevo and I first met Stitch when we were staying at Rob Bird’s apartment in Unicoi, TN and she had been about 10 miles ahead of us until we caught her at Wise Shelter. I was very excited when we caught her because we had also seen her at Kincora Hostel (she slackpacked 10 miles ahead of us) and had made it our goal to catch her. Once we caught her at Wise we convinced her to join us. Unfortunately for her (and Garfield), she joined us at the start of our most aggressive 7 day stretch on the trail where we were averaging about 20 miles a day.
Stitch got her name because someone thought she laughed like the character in Leo & Stitch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHmEIaJ0dSg). None of us are sure we agree with this comparison, but the name stuck. There is no doubt that she laughs a lot and that it is infectious, quickly spreading to Bevo, Garfield, and I. The most memorable example of this is when Garfield ate a 1 pound burger in about 30 seconds and she just started cracking up. Garfield, who still had his mouth full, started crying because he has the hot burger in his mouth while he was simultaneously trying to laugh.
Stitch , like Bevo, loves slackpacking and has enjoyed all of the slackpacking opportunities that Bevo creates for us. She likes to say “I am hiking the AT, not my pack.” She and Bevo have mostly converted me to this attitude.
She has an incredible ability to clean a Nutella container. She and I shared a container and when i thought it was finished, she used both ends of her spoon to harvest every bit of it out of the container.
Stitch grew up in Georgia and still considers it home. Prior to hiking the AT she was an officer in the US Army, and plans to figure out the next stage of her life when she finishes her hike. She hopes to travel to a variety of places, pretty much all of which involve hiking, although none to the same extent as the AT.