Submitted by Marit Fischer on Sun, 09/28/2008 - 07:18
Unfortunately, Billy had no luck finding lithium batteries. It's not ideal. I know it's a let-down. I guess we have to make the best out of what we've got.
Submitted by Marit Fischer on Sun, 09/28/2008 - 06:56
That's more like it. The alarm ring of a phone at 4 a.m. and Billy's "Hey, Man. If I'm up, you should be up," southern drawl. I felt like I should spring out of bed and simultaneously start boiling water for coffee and cracking eggs into a pan.
"I'm so sorry, girl, but we just had no reception yesterday. I do now, so I had to call you while I still got bars."
Submitted by Marit Fischer on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 21:31
Karl accidentally left SPOT on the hood of The Rig a few days ago when he hit the trail in the morning. Unfortunately, I drove off without knowing it was there and it must have flown into the bushes on the side of the road. (We always turn it on and put it outside first thing in the a.m. so it can catch a signal.) Billy and I couldn't find it when we went back to look for it a few hours later. We had no Internet access there and couldn't see where it was pinging.
The next morning, we resorted to the SPOT unit that Karl had been using from the beginning – the one that started giving us trouble 2.5 weeks ago. It worked for a while, but the batteries died on us completely two days ago. Before I left, I asked Billy to buy some lithium batteries at Nantahala Outdoor Center if they were available there. I haven't been able to connect with Billy since...
Submitted by Marit Fischer on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 17:58
I'm sorry. I've called and texted Billy, Cheryl and Senior and haven't heard a thing back from any of them. They must be completely out of range. I will post something as soon as I hear.
This is exactly why I wish I was still out there... so we all would know what's going on!
Submitted by Marit Fischer on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 21:50
Karl stopped at Burning Town Gap today, after covering the 40 miles from Fontana Dam in 11 hours and 50 minutes.
He started having right calf cramping, enough to stop and stretch out (which is rare for the self-declared non-stretcher), after 12-13 miles today. I didn't really think anything of it at the time. Apparently, it got a little worse throughout the day and slowed him down a bit. He called it a day early today in hopes of working out the issue and getting back out there for a big day tomorrow.
Crazy. To think that a 40-mile day these days is "taking it easy." We'll see what a little extra rest this evening will do for him.
Submitted by Marit Fischer on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 15:57
First you hear the road. Maybe about a mile out, maybe less. Usually you're on a downhill, from some ridge-top down to some Gap. You hear the whoosh of the cars and you pick up the pace. You anticipate. Then through the trees, looking down, you catch a glimpse of the Blue Box – The Rig. And you go for it. You want to get there.
Submitted by Marit Fischer on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 15:43
At 6:15 a.m., Karl and I came up a little rise and saw a tent, half put up or torn down, with a tarp spread out, and a pack. There was no one around at all. It was erie. Scary. We scoped the scene but there was no sign of attack or struggle. There was just no one there. Karl ran on and I stood there a minute. I called out.
Submitted by Crew on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 11:03
Just got off the phone with Marit, she just ran over 14 miles with Karl starting at the Fontana Dam. She was amazed at how fast and smooth Karl was running today, saying that she was having problems keeping up with him on a few of the uphills. At 9.45am, Marit hopped back on the RV and Karl headed out for a long leg.
Billy is on his way to buy some new batteries for SPOT, so it should be up and running a bit later today.
Stay tuned for a full update from Marit!
Submitted by Marit Fischer on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 05:11
4:59 a.m. and Billy's working on Karl's feet while Karl and I are eating breakfast. Funny how this is just normal for us now, though any grandmother and most mothers would freak at the sight.
"That it?" Billy asked after he taped every toe.
"Don't forget the sub-cue."
"The subcutaneous issue..."
Submitted by Crew on Thu, 09/25/2008 - 20:19
Sometimes it's just good to be alive. When you get to wake up in the heart of the Smokies to run 30+ miles with a friend, you just know it's all good. I get to wear alot of hats on this journey down the AT. Most of the time it's pretty thankless, long hours, lots of detail to fry the brain, but today i got to wear my favorite hat, i got to go out with Karl on a long section from Clingmans Dome to Fontana, the southern end of the park. Today was one of those rare bluebird days, a nip of frost in the morning and a good stiff breeze up high on the ridge to blow away all the junk we humans have created to stink up the place. I must have tripped 10 times looking up at the sky that was about as deep a blue as it comes on the color wheel. As I ran, I began to realize how big a deal this is. This getting out the door every single day doing what Karl does. This 40-50 miles a day, every day. I'm a decent ultrarunner. Like I tell Karl, "I'm no Karl Meltzer, I'm just a plain 'ol Billy Simpson," but I do understand what this effort is, and what it is, is very special. It takes a special breed to do what he does out here. Sometimes when he is in a crappy mood and bone tired, all it takes for me to understand why is to get out there on a long section to see why he gets that way. Folks, what he is doing, totally blows me away. What he is doing, only a few people every decade, that's right, decade, even attempt. I took alot of video today and i hope you get a chance to look at it. I hope what you see in those videos is what i see. I see this guy out there living his life the only way he knows how, pushing it as far as he possibly can and having a hell of a time along the way. I don't know about karl, but, I'm pretty sure he has the same opinion of this trip as I do. It's been one of the best adventures of my life and I'm just gonna go ahead and speak for Karl on this one 'cause he's asleep, he is a better man for seeing this thing thru and finishing this task in such fine form. He could have packed this in a long time ago, but that's not the Karl Meltzer I know...............3 more days and there's gonna be a party on a small hill in georgia, come on down, I'm buyin'.