Jimmy was nice. Very nice. But not that trail smart.
He was 19 years old and had been having a hard time finding a job so he decided to hike the trail. He was one of those people who seemed like they woke up one morning, decided to hike the trail, and jumped on the next bus to Georgia.
He was from Florida, so not accustomed to cold weather, anyway. Plus, he had no gloves, no hat, no raingear, no fleece. He had a set of Nordic Trekking poles that looked like he purchased them at Target for 14.99 which broke on April 4th, his second day. He had a tendency to not walk, but practically run down the trail until he was out of breath, then stand there, panting until he caught his breath again when he would take off at a running pace.
On April 4th, the cold, wet, freezing rain and sleet day, Florida Jimmy got hypothermic. We were all at Gooch Mountain Shelter, trying to convince the people there to move over and make room for the soaking wet, cold hikers coming in, when Jimmy started babbling nonsensically. He was shivering uncontrollably. He jumped up, started whipping off his layers of thin long sleeved coolmax tshirts, and began to run around in the rain.
That's when Upstate ran out and dragged him back into the shelter, forced him into his sleeping bag, and the up-until-now-unhelpful shelter folks snapped into action giving him extra gloves, a hat, and warm coffee to drink.
When I left the next day with Chiclet and Spoon, Jimmy had decided to go into town to warm up and get more supplies.
It's funny about Jimmy....most people think he will drop out because he is so unprepared. I am of the mind that he could be one of those people who can live out of hiker boxes and trail magic and somehow make it to Maine against all odds. I guess it depends upon which people he links up with.
The last I heard, K-Bizzy saw him at Unicoi Gap, mile 51....a full 20 miles further than most people thought he would last.
I hope he makes it. Even though he is a bit unprepared, I think of him as the kid who dug a trench to keep me dry.