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AT 2017: Day 127, Lost Pond Shelter to Minerva Hinchey Shelter

Sooner or later it all gets real

Hike with Gravity

The blowback from my son’s efforts to out racists continued today. I discovered more nasty comments had been posted on my Facebook feed.

What I have been dealing with has been nothing compared to threats and abuse hurled at my son. I was concerned for him, of course, but I was also concerned about my wife. As a school teacher she has a lot to risk with what the crackpots could do.

I worried about her and asked if I needed to come home, but she assured me she was taking extra care to be safe. Among other things, the local police were adding patrols of our neighborhood.

Still, I remained concerned.

Weather Cloudy, then turning partly sunny with a high temperature in the low 70s
Trail Conditions Some rocky sections, but not much mud
Today's Miles 14.9 miles
Trip Miles 1,680.4 miles

This morning I said goodbye to Becky and Stick. They got an early start because they wanted to get a ride this afternoon into Wallingford, where they hoped to catch a bus to Burlington. Becky has a friend there, and Stick wanted to spend a day with them tomorrow off the trail.

I stayed behind because I had cell service and was trying to get more information about what was going on at home.

After an easy and gradual, 1.6-mile descent from Lost Pond Shelter, I crossed a footbridge over a stream called Big Branch.

Not far from there I met up again with Van Man. He had just dropped off his son Darrin and was planning to drive ahead to walk to where Darrin would be camped tonight.

When I left Van Man I took some more time to check my phone to see if I could get more word about what was going on at home. I received a disturbing message from my son. He told me someone had created a Twitter account that was impersonating me.

The fake account used my photo and included a description that said I was my son’s father. What made the account worse was how it was used. Under the guise of me, the user was replying to various posts by others. The vendetta against my son was being played out by using my persona.

The tweets were bold lies built on a thin premise. They purported the idea that I supported the racists and opposed my son’s efforts to expose them. It was an amateurish impersonation, lacking any attempt at subtlety or polish, but it was still a lie. It was a theft of my identity.

Grateful to be where a wireless signal was strong, I quickly researched how to request a takedown of the fake Twitter account. I learned that I needed to prove my identity, so I took a photo of my driver’s license and submitted it with my request.

This was all I could do. I didn’t know if anyone at Twitter would respond, let alone remove the fake account.

Under this additional cloud of worry, I did the only thing I could do at the moment. I walked on.

The trail continued, first past Little Rock Pond and then along Homer Stone Brook. The trail was easy and low-lying under shade. It was a pleasant walk and I tried to put worry about home out of my mind. That wasn’t easy, but I had no choice.

Along the way I passed what appeared to be the remnants of farming or mining equipment. It was hard to tell what the parts came from because only a few rusting pieces were left, perched on a stone wall.

The trail then began a climb of more than 500 feet in elevation, but wasn’t difficult.

Near the top of the climb was a park-like setting. There were stacks and stacks of rocks. This was a rock garden made with human hands.

It was a fascinating spot to walk through and view, but I was also saddened to see it. While interesting, the rocks were an abuse of Leave No Trace principles.

This was at an area called White Rocks. Along the ridge was an opportunity to go off trail a short distance for a view, It was now past 3 p.m. and I still had at least three hours of walking to reach the first camping spot, so I put my head down and pushed on.

Once I arrived and got set up at Minerva Hinchey Shelter I received a text message from Stick. He said Becky and he were able to successfully make their connection with a bus and were now in Burlington.

I also received a surpassingly quick response from Twitter. The fake account had been deleted.

I hear some people been talking me down
Bring up my name, pass it around
They don't mention the happy times
They do their thing, I do mine

Ooh baby that's hard to change
I can't tell them how to feel
Some get stoned, some get strange
Sooner or later it all gets real

Walk on
Walk on
Walk on
Walk on


"Nothing to tell now. Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine." ref.