Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Where are my AT hikers now?

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I'm on vacation this week. Pretty much a staycation with a lot — and I do mean a lot — of catch-up laundry and house cleaning and running errands. While I was running errands yesterday, I noticed there were two coolers placed for the AT hikers that travel down Phelps Avenue in North Adams and over the footbridge to the trailhead on Massachusetts Avenue. So happy to think my article may have raised some awareness of the hikers!

I also was happy to share a hiker's blog entry in which she told how much it meant to be able to borrow one of North Adams City Councilor Josh Moran's bicycles (which he has for the hikers to use) and bike to the downtown area to resupply and eat. You might not always see the hikers, but they do help the local economy — and there are literally hundreds and hundreds that pass through the Berkshires.

People have been asking where "my" hikers are now. Some I have unfortunately lost touch with — Bub and Boo, Goat, Devo and Zora, and Blink. I'm assuming that Blink summited two or three weeks ago and may be exploring the Maine in Stephen King's books, which he loves. He was to fly home to Great Britain on Labor Day.

Hard Hat and Jackalope are still off-trail at home in Maryland. They are doing day hikes to keep in condition and get Hard Hat's knees to where they need to be to do the southern part of the trail in the spring.

Squeaks and Jetpack summited Katahdin two weeks apart; Squeaks two weeks ago and Jetpack late last week. Jetpack seems to have landed in Houston on Friday or Saturday, hours before Hurrricane Harvey hit. Squeaks posted yesterday that she had raised $18,091 for pediatric cancer research.

And the Grope? Alfalfa and Patch summited last week. Tin Cup and Monarch were due to summit Tuesday or today. Alfalfa and Patch are back home in Oklahoma.

Mulberry emailed me that his relatives in the Lee area had forwarded him the article. He slipped on a wet deck at a hut in the White Mountains and thought he had sprained his ankle. He painfully hiked out for two days on what turned out to be a broken tibia! He is back home in Los Angeles and mending.

I have two hikers left on the trail — Tinker Bell, a SOBO from Maryland, and Skipper Dan, a NOBO former boat captain. Tink is currently off-trail, enjoying some time with her family. Skipper Dan is somewhere between Manchester, Vt., and Hanover, N.H., where he'll go off trail for some time with his girlfriend in the Adirondacks.

The hikers are getting scarcer now, winter is approaching and Baxter State Park in Maine, where Katahdin is located, closes in mid to late October. And even most of the SOBOs have already come through. I've learned a lot this summer and met some wonderful people I'll never forget. I can't wait until next summer!

To help me celebrate the hikers and their victories, make up some jalapeno margaritas. I planted jalapenos this summer and it's a bumper crop!

JALAPENO MARGARITA

Serves two

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 ounces tequila

juice of 2 oranges

juice of 1 lime

juice of 1 jalapeno

1-2 tablespoons agave, to taste

1/4 cup club soda

1 jalapeno, sliced

ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS:

Juice oranges, lime and one jalapeno. Combine juice with agave, club soda and tequila, pour over ice and garnish with sliced jalapeno.


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