Thursday, August 2, 2012

Loner at 1500 miles in Massachusetts

Yesterday, August 1st,  I heard from Loner and he had reached the state where he was born 40 years ago: Massachusetts. He was born in a small lakeside town, called Dracut, Mass, which at one time was a sort of holiday spot where we lived across the street from a state park. The remnants of park rides and food stands were still scattered around the lake when we lived there.We lived in two different houses one a sort of log vacation cabin within steps and with a view of the lake in winter, and the second house, which was a cottage a little further out, but an easy minute or two walking distance.  So I know his time in Mass. will bring back lots of memories, ice skating on the lake, watching cars drive figure eights on the ice on the lake in the winter, Going into the very dark nightclub turned into a cocoa stand during the day to warm up, hunting for turtles and frogs.  We had a family of large pheasants living in our backyard and snapping turtles living in the marsh right behind the yard. That's where Jeff got to enjoy racing, going with his great grandpa, grandpa, who were both race car drives to watch his dad do demolition derbies.  We took Jeff with earplugs form the textile mill where both his dad and I worked when Jeff was just six months old.  You'll see some racing in the new videos he's posted and some posh cars - racing Porsches and a Viper among them!
We never lived in the city when Loner was young, although Lowell, a large textile center was close and where I lived before I got married.  So Jeff doesn't love city life as much as I do.  He's always been one to consider the outdoors his home and nature sacred.  He hits is first textile town not long after he enters Mass.  and goes through Dalton and Great Barrington and you can see the difference in Mass. towns.  He says it really feels like the New England he knows and the mountains are beautiful.  In one video there's a sign with a snowmobile on it and boy that brought back all kinds of memories for me.  I'd totally forgotten they existed, after leaving 30 years in South Carolina, but Loner's dad owned one and it was just the way of the world up there once the snow reached 3 and 4 feet starting in October and not melting until April so storm just dumped more snow after storm until the plowed hills turn into mountains taller than a story or two building. We'd have two or three blizzards a year, but the rest of the days kids went to school unless the snow was over a foot or so, here, the schools close if they just predict snow!
Loner talks about some of the people he's meeting on the trail, including Socks from Germany, a woman who has hiked all over the world and does motor cycle rallies all over Europe; Radio, who got Lyme Disease but is still on the trail. Jeff  said its been sad to see a lot of people leave at the 1500 mile mark including Union Jill from the UK whose also a power lifter and Jeff said a lot of other people left, just got bored or tired of it and left- with only 600 miles left to Katadhin. It's too bad and sad to see them leave when they're so close. 
He also gave shout outs to some of his You Tube friends and supporters: Kath (who hopes to hike the AT next year and Jeanine, another arrowhead hunter.
gives some assistance to the cars in the pits at the Porsche race. Enjoy the 4 or 5 new videos on his Loner2012AT Video Blog 


  1. Watching Loner from Connecticut. Outstanding videos that help me for planning a thru hike - possibly in 2013. Keep 'em coming and all my best!

    Tom Kruczek

    1. Tom - I'm glad you're enjoying watching Loner's videos - As much fun as they are for me (I want to visit all the towns and museums) I have a feeling they can really be helpful to future thru-hikers like yourself. When he announced he was doing the trail - I had little idea of what it was, even on the day we dropped him off at Amicalola Falls in Georgia. And as the videos went on, I learned how many ways there are to experience the journey (Hike You Own Hike) and that even the hikers must come to discover what works for them as they start eating up the miles. And now I'm just amazed over and over. Have a great hike and let us know if you will be blogging, keeping a trail journal or a journal on White Blaze or doing a video journal and we'll be sure to follow!