At noon today, I went out to get our mail. Expecting the usual junk mail, I almost had a heart attack upon opening the mailbox door. There in all his glory stood Yuri.
To those who don’t know about Yuri, he has been hiking with me for the past few years. Last year when launching my epic journey on the AT, Yuri went missing. I was on day 1 of the hike. Yuri was right beside me on my pack.
At about mile 6 I sat down for a break only to discover Yuri was no longer riding high on my backpack. Heart break are the only words that come to my mind at the moment I realized my hiking partner was no more. I posted an article on Appalachian Trials of MIA Yuri. (http://appalachiantrials.com/first-days-of-trail-life/) I kept hoping someone would come across him and let me know of his where abouts. But alas, this was not to be.
Now it is March 29th, 2016 and low and behold he shows up.
He had this fantastical tale of where he has been. I myself wonder about some of the details. (He tends to exaggerate a bit.) Here is the tale in all of it’s fine glory:
YURI. “So, there I was bumping along on your backpack enjoying the sights when out of no where there was a crash & the lights went out!! I don’t know how long I was out but when I woke up…WOW!
Everything was white & I was in an unfamiliar place; white towels, the feeling was so soft & warm. Then this lady asked what kinds of treatment I wanted. Treatments!?! I thought, what the heck is this place. Then the woman explained to me I was at a Resort SPA! A SPA! I told them to give me the works & figured you’d be there soon to join…
But you never came…maybe spa’s aren’t for you. (ME. A lot of eye rolling)
Anyway after waiting a year, I figured I better get in the first box out of here and head home…and…HERE I AM!
YURI. I know, RIGHT!
ME. Well, you are going to be so happy in a moment, I have big news.
YURI. You do?
ME. Yes, I got hurt coming out of the Smokies and had to get off the trail at mile 309.
YURI. Oh my…that is bad news. Not big news, but bad news.
ME. Oh, that isn’t the big news. The big news is that we leave tomorrow morning to head back to the AT.
ME. AND, I figured a great way to make sure you don’t jump, oops I mean fall off of my backpack again!
Story by Andrea & images by Sookie