Tag Archives: Aqua Blaze

The Party is Over and Just Keep Paddling – The Aqua Blaze Part II

In the previous post, Aqua-Blaze Part I, we left off in the middle of our grand Independence Day weekend adventure. We had rafts, a river to float down, more beer than we should’ve, burgers and hot dogs and a blissful ignorance to what we were getting ourselves into. It took us two days to make it 21 miles. Not bad, except that we needed to cover 130 more in the next five days if we were going to stay on track. Yikes.

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Dirty, Rotten, Good-For-Nothing Aqua Blazers

The Appalachian Trail is marked with one consistent method; a 2″x6″ white paint stripe on the side of a tree and every 100 to 400 yards there is normally a “white blaze” to keep you on track. Blue blazes mark everything from side trails to water sources to shelters to shortcuts. Because they mark shortcuts and ways to skip the true Appalachian Trail, those that take these shortcuts are often condescendingly referred to as “blue blazers” by their strict white blazing purist peers. Worse than blue blazing is the brown blazer, which is when a hiker follows a road to get easier miles rather than taking the trail. Still worse than a brown blazer is the dreaded yellow blazer, referring to the yellow of a taxi cab that they use to skip trail miles from one trail town to the next. Yellow blazers are the worst. Until mile 857 in Waynesboro, VA that is, meet the “aqua-blazer”.

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