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  #1  
Old 11-16-2008, 08:03 AM
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Question Carrying a rock(or small stone)

Curiousity got the best of me when I read David Miller's "AWOL on the AT".

In his book, when he started at Springer, he picked up a stone and planned on delivering it to Mt Katahdin to place at the sign. But somewhere along the way, he had lost the stone and was dissapointed.

Even though I started from Katahdin and hiked to Springer, I did not carry a stone with me, nor did I hear about any one else doing so, north or south.

Is this a common tradition I missed out on? Or is it just a choice by the individual?
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:09 AM
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Some carry stones, some teddy bears, many carry some kind of "charm".
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:42 AM
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Back in the 90's when I tried, evrybody I met had a stone, I think. Mine was very small. I used to suck on it at times to keep the saliva glands going, while hiking. It's in the bottom of my fish tank now.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:58 PM
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I've never heard of it until Wingfoot mentioned it when this was his website. Basically, as I understand it, it's a symbolic gesture to connect Springer with Katahdin in some way - you're supposed to leave the Springer rock/pebble on Katahdin. I'm not good at symbolism, so I know I screwed that up a little, but that's the basic premise.

I got the impression that it was something from the past and not much practiced anymore.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:12 PM
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Default best laid plans....

I actually picked up 3 small pebbles on Springer and placed them in various places: 1 in my med kit, 1 in the zip lock with my journal, and 1 in my wallet (a fancy swimmers zip lock.) I was sure to have one by Maine.

All 3 went missing as I loaned out my med kit, loaned someone I was hiking with my journal so they could update theirs, and the last when I was pick pocketed in town from Delaware Water Gap.

Alas, as I climbed Katahdin I felt a loss. But knowing some of my fellow thru-hikers were already on the summit I decided to have a little fun. I picked up 5 rocks in ever larger sizes until my pockets bulged. I am talking almost 5 pounds of rocks.

When I reached the summit I ceremoniously knelt before the sign and declared I carried this rock from Springer for my youngest daughter and produced the first rock. Then the second rock for the second daughter, the third rock for my oldest, the fourth for my wife, and the one the size of a softball for myself.

By the third rock most thru-hikers had caught on but some day hikers were truly amazed.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
I actually picked up 3 small pebbles on Springer and placed them in various places: 1 in my med kit, 1 in the zip lock with my journal, and 1 in my wallet (a fancy swimmers zip lock.) I was sure to have one by Maine.

All 3 went missing as I loaned out my med kit, loaned someone I was hiking with my journal so they could update theirs, and the last when I was pick pocketed in town from Delaware Water Gap.

Alas, as I climbed Katahdin I felt a loss. But knowing some of my fellow thru-hikers were already on the summit I decided to have a little fun. I picked up 5 rocks in ever larger sizes until my pockets bulged. I am talking almost 5 pounds of rocks.

When I reached the summit I ceremoniously knelt before the sign and declared I carried this rock from Springer for my youngest daughter and produced the first rock. Then the second rock for the second daughter, the third rock for my oldest, the fourth for my wife, and the one the size of a softball for myself.

By the third rock most thru-hikers had caught on but some day hikers were truly amazed.
Now that's funny.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperingwind View Post
Curiousity got the best of me when I read David Miller's "AWOL on the AT".

In his book, when he started at Springer, he picked up a stone and planned on delivering it to Mt Katahdin to place at the sign. But somewhere along the way, he had lost the stone and was dissapointed.

Even though I started from Katahdin and hiked to Springer, I did not carry a stone with me, nor did I hear about any one else doing so, north or south.

Is this a common tradition I missed out on? Or is it just a choice by the individual?
at least he picked up the stone on his own. some people hike miles and then realized someone else slipped a big rock into thier pack as a joke. or like the 3 pound potato i found in my pack once with a note saying it was headed for katahdin please carry me? so i made sure someone else did just that!
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:53 AM
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I didnt carry a rock from Springer to katahdin, but I do have a small rock from katahdin (it's about the size of a pinky finger nail).

I keep it in my mantle drawer - will probably get one from Springer, but the first time I was there, there weren't really many around that were tiny like that.

peace be with you
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:16 PM
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Miss Janet talked about a guy that left a bowling ball in one of the shelters with a note requesting that it get carried to the Big K. She didn't know what happened to it but it was gone within a week.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montana mac View Post
Miss Janet talked about a guy that left a bowling ball in one of the shelters with a note requesting that it get carried to the Big K. She didn't know what happened to it but it was gone within a week.
probably the local trail club had to haul it out, or maybe a hiker did passing by. regardless, that is a dick thing to do.
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