The Big Snit
Oct 5 -
When you wake up in the morning, a part of you is filled with wonder, imagining all the
things that might happen during the course of the upcoming day. It might be adventure, it
might be excitement, or it might just be the humdrum of the everyday. When we started out
this morning, it never crossed our minds that, by the close of the day, we'd be snitting.
It was the Apple Butter Festival in Skyland. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were
looking for the Miller's Head Trail, suggested to us by a spectacled, bearded Ranger named
Kevin as a short yet scenic nature hike. We came upon a sign that changed our day like
we never expected. That sign read "Apple Butter Festival: Today" and it had an arrow.
And by gum, we followed that arrow. We followed the road to the Skyland Conference Hall,
and were greeted by a room full of folks peeling, coring and cutting all sorts of homegrown
Virginia apples. We helped ourselves to a scoop of apple butter, made fresh yesterday.
It was just like a little old spoonful of heaven. Heaven with lots of cloves.
Then we had a crack at the apple cobbler. Land sakes alive, that stuff was tastier than
angels pissing on your tongue. We complemented the workers on a job well done. They asked
if we were looking for employment. It didn't pay well, but it had good benefits. The room
laughed, and laughed harder when we took them up on their offer.
What a wakeup! Well before dawn, we were woken up by a large black bear on our picnic
table. He had found the BBQ sauce we had spilled while making dinner the night before,
and was cleaning it off with his tongue. The camera was in the car, but we did get this
photo of the mark he left on our temporary water jug. Notice the "Super Size".
And so, just like that, we became snitters.
I suppose by now you're wondering what it means to "snit". Snitting a peeled apple consists
of quartering it, scooping out the core and seeds, then halving the quarters and putting
them into a bucket. We must have gone through about two bushels of apples (a bushel is
a box measuring approximately 24" x 18" x 12". A traditional bushel is a round basket)
with the help of our snitting instructor, Penny (that's her in the photo at the top). Her
family has made apple butter for as long as she could remember.
We snitted until the sun got low in the sky, enough to get down to the last few apples in
the bushel before Uncle Frank came by with a fresh batch. They thanked us for our help
and sent us on our way with a piece of apple cobbler each as payment. I guess that's
what they meant by good benefits. That was some tasty apple cobbler, let me tell you.
We'll never forget you, Skyland! You were a snitter's paradise.
Profiles in Courage:|
Meet Payton West, Appalachian Trailer
From: Chattanooga, TN
Occupation: High School Graduate
Trail Nickname: Jeep
A.T. Start Date: June 18
A.T. Starting Point: Mt. Katahdin, Maine
Distance to go: 841 miles
How did you prepare? Not much really... there was a mountain I ran up and down about 7 times over the course of a month, but that's about it.
Are many other people doing it? I've met about 500 people going the other way. Most people take it South to North.
Is it easier or harder than you thought? I'd say easier, but I am fast-tracking a few parts. I want to be in Nanahalo River, North Carolina for the Fall Festival. I'm supposed to be meeting friends there.
How much is it costing you? About $3000. Most of it goes to food, and you hit a town every 3-4 days. Most campgrounds will let you use the facilities for free, so that's not too bad. This is my third pair of shoes, though.
Worst state to hike? Pennsylvania was the worst part so far. Most of it is flat, rocky and dry.
Any advice for anyone thinking of doing the A.T.? Try doing the Long Trail in Vermont. That's about three weeks of hiking instead of four months. Also, when you're trying to buy your gear, phone around to different companies, tell them what your doing and you might get a discount. Another good trick: phone a company, tell them you bought something from them and it broke. They just might send you one free.
Words of Wisdom: Pack light, and don't wear boots.
We've got mail...|
...the word "pissing" is a bit harsh...I think "peeing" would have been easier to visualize...
Drop us a note!
A Lovely Autumn Day
National Parks Pass:
Bill & Mindi Gardner's
Wouldn't you know it... Our old pal Greg Gardner is in DC visiting his folks. On 45 minutes
notice, they had the spare room all ready for us. Thanks a bundle! (By the way, that's a
picture of their dog, Guinness).
|Bkfast: ||Laundry Room|
|Lunch: ||Apple Butter Festival|
|Cost:||2 Hrs Labour|
Greg's Parents' Place
|Order:||XL Pep & Sausage|
XL Onion & GP