The Wolve

Wolve (His spelling) as I know him was an anomaly, though I understand he fits a kind of archetype of character who unfortunately attempts the AT with some consistency. He appeared to Rescue and I in the middle of the night at uncle Johnny’s hostel in Erwin TN, and immediately he began to weave himself into a labyrinth of lies, the depths of which he seemed lost. After encountering him and others who had met him, only one thing was clear, nothing he said could be taken as true. It was apparent very early that his plan seemed to be that he would yellow-blaze up the trail, swindling overnight stays out of hostels and churches as he was able. His claims lined up closely with my actual life (He claimed to be from Minnetonka, which is only a few miles away from where I grew up, and that he had a similar plan to me beyond the AT.) and more so that of Smokes. (ex-military, tragic death of his wife and child, sometimes a son, sometimes es a daughter.) This was unacceptable to Smokes, when Wolve hitched into Damascus VA, there was a confrontation and Wolve got off trail.

Most of his tales lent to this persona that he must’ve thought was optimized to be attractive to women, a scarred veteran who overcame his dark past, has a rich family back home, and he can cook too! He introduced himself as “from Minnetonka, where the rich people in Minnesota live!” Claimed to work 18 hour days at a non-existant 5-star italian restaurant in St. Paul (it had a very generic name, I think it was “Italiano’s”), but didn’t know what a calzone was, and called tortillas “wet tacos” amongst some other food related oddities. He also had an absurd military story, something about 160 confirmed kills as an Army Ranger sniper in Nicaragua. I can’t help but  wonder what the real story was that led him to this existence.

From here we began to hike with Smokes, and would hang with him until Harper’s Ferry. Smokes is a larger than life character, he would get a carton of cigarettes in every one of his mail drops, which was every 4-6 days. He would chain smoke while hiking, even uphill, and he was fast, it was very seldom that anyone of us would be ahead of him. Last year he hiked the PCT, and he’ll make for the triple crown next year. Almost everyone I met on trail who were on the PCT in 2014 had at least heard of smokes. Rescue and I leap-frogged with Smokes, for a few days leading into Damascus. With the 3 of us and occasionally Eddy, and/or Ironman, who caught up to us just after Erwin, we formed a group, called ourselves The Fellowship, and began to head onwards towards where Nemo would return to Trail.

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