I mentioned this hiker we met named Lost Sailor who we stayed with at The Green Mountain House Hiker Hostel. He was one week into the Long Trail Northbound and he was feeling pretty beat up and had just taken his first day off the trail at the hostel to recover. He was super friendly and we chatted with him quite a bit sharing stories. He hiked the AT in 2000. He was 57. He was a really nice guy and very social. Jeff, the incredibly generous owner of the hostel gave us all a ride back to the trailhead together just this past Friday morning. I kinda wanted to hug Lost Sailor but we fist bumped instead and we wished each other the best since he was going north and we were going south. I remember this moment so clearly as I was just kind of struck by this guys humility and sensitivity and openness to us. He called us by our trail names and it was connecting. We have since talked about him a lot and wondered how he was doing and I was seriously rooting for the guy!
He told us that the Long Trail’s nickname is “The Quiter’s Trail” because it’s so hard and so many people quit. He gave us so many props for getting all the way to southern Vermont. Before we parted ways he asked for my blog address and I was really hoping he would write me and tell me his adventures as he hiked north. I was looking forward to keeping in touch with him.
We were just googling Long Trail stuff and found this news that someone died on the Long Trail who was from Indiana and put it together that it was him. He died on the trail just 10 miles north of Manchester. I was just literally just reading his AT Trail Journals earlier today. So shocking and so sad and my heart goes out to his family and friends and the trail community for this loss. We are stunned. We have talked about Lost Sailor everyday since we met him and I have been imagining him hiking north.
Lost Sailor you are in our hearts.