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April 29, 2008 10:01 PM

Amanda & Josh-
If you have a craving for mushrooms, I'll mail you a can. Leave the morel identification and eating to Chad!!!! Take care!

-- Shelley

Jacksonville, NC

April 28, 2008 9:47 PM

Hey guys!

I hope the trek is going amazingly!

-- Ryan

Raleigh NC

April 28, 2008 5:23 PM

Hello Amanda and Josh,

Hope you are both well?

We met you Sunday April 27th, (we were on a day hike to Humpback Rocks) and you have truly inspired us to consider a thru-hike. We are completing day hikes in Central Virginia through the rest of the week to get a feel of the AT.

Your journals paint a true picture of what we can expect if we decide to do the trail and we will continue to follow your progress.

Good Luck!

(Michelle and Bruce email -

-- Clare, Michelle, Bruce

England U.K, Richmond, VA

April 27, 2008 10:10 PM

Hi, Amanda and Josh! Have spent the past thirty
minutes catching up on all your trail news. Talked
with your Mom, Amanda, a couple days ago. They loved
their visit with you two. I went on a five day trip to
see my parents in Staunton, Virginia last week and also
up near the Chesapeake Bay to visit an elderly cousin.
Tomorrow I'm taking a church friend to visit her husband at Wake Hospital in Raleigh (who had a stroke &
is doing well in therapy now) and then on Thursday,
Melvin and I will go to Charlotte to celebrate Brindley
and Ryan's Caroline's first birthday. This week I am
going to try to get a box of cookies off to you as I
promised and have them there for you in Harpers Ferry
by May 8th. I'm going to try to mail them to you by
Wednesday of this week...the 30th. I'll send you another e-mail to verify that they're in the mail. Am
continuing to stay busy, but I'm thinking of you two
daily. Take care of the foot, Amanda. By the way, you
are near my old stomping ground! I grew up in Front
Royal, Virginia and was actually born in Winchester.
My sister lives in Lynchburg, Va. and Mom and Dad (who
are 91 & 92) live in a retirement home in Staunton, as
I mentioned. I've had many a picnic on the Skyline
Drive when living in Front Royal. Anyhow, love to both
of you and I would say,"Get some rest!", but I know
better! Love, Bea Oettinger (Amanda's kindergarten
teacher! She was an excellent student, by the way!)

-- Bea Oettinger

Jacksonville, N.C.

April 27, 2008 5:24 PM

K the short notes are as follows:
DO NOT EAT THEM RAW. According to my research they all have a little toxin in them that cooking takes out of the good morels. False morels can do anything from make you nauseous to, on occasion, be fatal. So be careful which you pick. Good morels: The surface of a morel is covered with definite pits and ridges, and the bottom edge of the cap is attached directly to the stem. Size: 2" to 12" tall. The common morel (Morchella esculenta): When young, this species has white ridges and dark brown pits and is known as the "white morel." As it ages, both the ridges and the pits turn yellowish brown, and it becomes a "yellow morel." If conditions are right the "yellow morel" can grow into a "giant morel," which may be up to a foot tall. The black morel or smoky morel (Morchella elata): The ridges are gray or tan when young, but darken with age until nearly black. The pits are brown and elongated. These morels are best when picked young; discard any that are shrunken or have completely black heads. False Morels: (aka bad juju) False morels have wrinkled, irregular caps that are brainlike or saddle-shaped. They may be black, gray, white, brown or reddish. (The "big red morel," Gyromitra caroliniana, common in Missouri, is a large false morel with a reddish cap.) Other names include elephant ears, Arkansas morels and brain mushrooms. Size 2" to 8" tall. False morels differ from true morels in two obvious ways: The cap surface has lobes, folds, flaps or wrinkles, but it does not have pits and ridges like a true morel. You might say their caps bulge outward instead of being pitted inward. The bottom edge of the cap of a false morel hangs free around the stem, like a skirt. On true morels, the bottom edge of the cap is attached to the stem. I hope this helps in getting you started and look for an envelope from me at Harpers. I'll be watching your progress.

-- Chad

Yorktown, VA

April 27, 2008 4:12 PM

Greetings Amanda and Little Debbie, My husband and I met you (Little Debbie) along the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way back to Maine from Charlotte NC. You were looking for water...hope you found it. That\'ll teach us to carry extra bottles of water! Ed\'s sister, Libby/Shamrock, hiked the AT in 1999, so it was really special to meet you and stand where she stood. She died the year after she completed the trail and we are so grateful that she was able to live her dream. We would be thrilled to provide some sort of welcome when you get to Maine, so we\'ll keep in touch in anticipation of that. As we were driving away after meeting you, Ed was reflecting on some of his sister\'s communications while she was on the trail. There were beautiful moments and there were tough ones. We remember Libby saying that one of the most difficult adjustments for her was that everything seemed wet at the beginning...whether from rain or sweat. She also said the toughest time was about 2 months into the trip and that once she got through that...she was okay! We wish you the best and will send our positive energy and thoughts. Betsy and Ed

-- Betsy Shevenell


April 27, 2008 1:44 PM

Hey guys. Great to meet you at Baupin this past weekend. My thoughts are gonna be with you both through your hike. As for the morels, it turns out that there is a lot of info on them. The long and short is that you need to be careful with what you pick as some are poisonous and others are delectible. I am sending you a few pages of info. It will be waiting at Harper's Ferry. If you can wait a few mores days to gather some the pages I send should be all you need. I'll post a short note on the basics tonight though. GL guys.

-- Chad

Yorktown, VA

April 24, 2008 5:39 PM

Breakman and Grasshopper were here today and suggested I visit your site. I agree with the mountain lion theory. You have an interesting journal.
Give me a call when you get to Waynesboro since I give rides into town. The Visitors Center at Rockfish Gap has a list of trail angels.
Happy Hiking!

-- Bill

Waynesboro, VA

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