This was my introduction to the Appalachian and Trek names. Either you make one up or one gets made up for you if you spend enough time on the trail.
Rock Scar was a thru walker (someone that walks the entire trail) in 2009 and he got his name because he banged his head on a rock and got a scar from it which I guess is fairly explanatory whilst I’m not exactly sure about Ten Gallon although I asked if he was from Texas and he smiled and said ‘That’s the idea’ so I guess he must have a ten gallon hat.
So far the hikers I’ve met with trail names that I can remember (as I type this) are as follows
- Sketch – an ex-rodeo rider turned artist who is walking the trail for inspiration
- Old School – a girl with the old style steel frame backpack taking her dog (with a doggy backpack) for a 250 mile walkies. The dogs trail name is Jelly bean
- Saturday – I forgot to ask
- Lightning (I cant remember the 2nd part, I think it was beau) – a guy from the Oconee Hiking club who I hitched a ride with. He has been struck by lightning 7 times. The last time only 6 weeks ago and he showed me the various entry and exit points of some of the strikes. His arms were still swollen from the last hit. He only treks in good weather nowadays.
- Scatter – another Oconee hiker, she switches topic mid sentence, I didn’t ask how she got her name.
Initially I was a bit skeptical of the whole trail name thing. I think it’s because I think that I feel like a name is a defining thing probably because it took me a long time to come to grips with mine. That and I think I found it a bit goofy people introducing themselves by their pseudonyms. However, as I’ve met more people with them I’ve become converted.. it’s an ice-breaker and an easier way to remember the people you meet on the trail.
I’ve come to introduce myself as ‘Walkabout’ because.. hey I like it.