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St. Petersburg, FL, USA

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What's in a Name?

November 2, 2016

There is a tradition on the Appalachian Trail to either give yourself a trail name or be given one. My trail name is "Slapshot." It was given to me, because I like to knock sticks and branches off the trail with my trekking pole as I hike.


I can also claim bestowing a trail name. The first night in Georgia before starting my hike, I participated in the celebration of the challenge (ie a little Bourbon).  Those who know me know I'm not a drinker and the Bourbon did it's damage. So I went back to my room afterwards not totally in control.  On the porch of the hostel was a young woman, and we started talking.  I must have asked her a half dozen times where she is from.  The next morning at breakfast I saw her and blurted out, "Omaha!"  Thus a trail name was born.


​And I met "Coke" on the trail. Lest you jump to conclusions, he did time in prison for drug dealing.


I linked up with two other older hikers during this hike. Blake (Numbers) and Bill (Slippery Doc).  Blake is an accountant and Bill is a doctor.  I'm not sure where the "Slippery" comes in the trail name for Bill.  Both were knowledgeable and fast hikers.

Slippery Doc on the left and Numbers on the right.


"Outlaw" has family members in the Outlaw motorcycle club, but he was not a member, he said.  Later he told me about smoking banana peels in jail.  So, you decide where the trail name comes from.


My favorite trail name is "Tiny Hippo."  The owner is a small, young woman.  I've got to get around to asking her how she got it the next time I see her.

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