Trail names. A rite of passage for these through-country hikers who develop a community as they hike through the States and Counties together.
“Trail names are often colorful and intriguing. Sometimes self named, sometimes given by others. However they originated, they often give us an insight into the bearer or some event that sets that person apart. Sometimes we wonder how they ever got that name. ” ( http://www.atmuseum.org/trail-names.html)
Another blog, The Appalachian Trials, I found shared this about the psychology of the trail name which, I found very fitting:
“Twelve Percent. Kickapoo. Aviator. Sparky. Iron Chef. Bobcat. Sloth. The Pope. Rain. Lotus. Einstein. Jersey Girl. Bama. Egret. Tum Tum. Hard Times (San Quentin). Robin Hood. Cartwheel. All In. Mama Bear. Ginger. Gilligan. These are all trail names of people I have met in 29 days on the Appalachian Trail – and this is just a fraction of them.
For most of these people, I have no idea what their real name is, nor where they are from, what they did in the real world, why they’re out here, or what they plan on doing when they’re finished. There are simply too many people to get to know every single one very intimately. What has intrigued me, though, is that 99% of the people I’ve met go by their trail name only – and being a psychologically conscious person, I got to thinking about what these seemingly playful, innocent names represent for hikers.
Quite obviously a trail name represents a new identity, a new beginning, and a chance to leave everything that was once represented by “John Smith” or “Jane Dougherty” behind. People don’t come out here to talk about their jobs as lawyers or bartenders or car salesmen; they come out here to leave the hassles of everyday life – the stresses of rent, insurance, bosses, student loan payments (and rightfully so, those things suck).
So doesn’t it seem fitting that, in escaping all these discomforts modern society loves to bombard us with, we should form a new identity, a new perspective, and a new way of approaching this adventure we call life? All this would seem, to me at least, a healthy psychological process which a trail name is a merely a vocal signifier for.” (http://appalachiantrials.com/psychology-trail-name/)
So befitting of them both, Lauren is now Dustbuster for her face first slides while slackpacking:
And Travis is Chiseled for his chiseled leg muscles. =)
So LauTrav move to a new acronym – “DB&C” – Dustbuster and Chiseled!
I also discovered in my research on Trail Names, that the PCT has a hiker’s list when you’ve completed the trail. It will be so exciting for LauTrav aka DBC to have their names added to the list:
“Walking or riding the entire Pacific Crest Trail is an achievement worthy of superlatives. It represents not just athletic prowess, determination and extreme proficiency in the outdoors, but a devotion and dedication to the magic of the West. To be a 2,600 Miler is to have achieved the remarkable.” (http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/thru-hiking-long-distance-hiking/2600-miler-list/)
Until next time,