Monday, September 17, 2012

The Story Of Atti ( My Hiking Buddy )

I have had a lot of people ask about my hiking buddy who rides in the back of my backpack on our hikes through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many hikers we meet think that Atti is a duck but she is actually a platypus. A Webkinz  ( which she is a Google on the Webkinz Site ) that my girls got me one day for my Birthday

Well the story goes like this :

My Daughters (who are twins ) which were at the time this all began was right at 6 years old . I had got them both a google for part of their Christmas presents . One was a white one and the other was a pink one . One day after Christmas it was raining and i started playing with their Googles and was making them talk to them . We all laughed and had a lots of fun but little did i know that they had took a saved their own money and bought me my very own for my birthday . Thus Atti arrived on the scene with me ! So like most adults I thought it was so cute that my daughters had took their own money to get me my very own Google but Atti just sat on my bed like most stuff animals do except my daughters had different plans for Atti . I was going on a over night hike with a couple of buddies that I hike with all the time in the Great Smoky Mountains but this one time they had to both cancel on me but I was already off and I was going anyways . Then my daughters heard that I was going by myself and they got scared that a bear was going to get me while I was hiking in the mountains . So they put Atti in my backpack and told me that I had to take her that she would protect me from any bears . I laughed and my wife laughed even harder and asked if I was going to take her with me and I said like any daddy that loves their daughters with all their hearts I said yes . So that they knew that she actually went with me I took pictures of her all on the trail . And Atti has been with me every since we have hiked all over the Great Smoky Mountains National Park , Cherokee National Forest , Nantahala and Pisqah Forest .

 One time that I went hiking without her and it was just a short hike at Baskins Falls . I was crossing over a stream going up to the cemetery and hit some black ice on the back side of the rock and i fell and broke two ribs. Since then she has always been with me on every hike even the short ones ! She has become my hiking buddy that is always with me no matter what . I even made her a raincoat that she wears when it rains. Over all this time she has become a little celebrity . She has probably had her picture taken over 100 times and from people all over the world from Russia to Australia that had come to the Great Smoky Mountains to hike and enjoy the great outdoors. Now my daughters are both 17 and tell me that I can leave Atti at home and I say never ever will I leave her at home now !

Atti at Rocky Top on way to Thunderhead Mountain

Atti at the top of Chimney Tops

Atti at Gregory Bald

Atti just hanging around at Mt.LeConte

Atti hiking with me Curry Mountain

Atti at Mt.LeConte in the winter snow


  1. That is so cute and I love the pics of her everywhere

  2. I love this story you can tell a man that actually loves his children. Very cute

  3. What a cute story. Atti is one lucky stuffed animal as he/she has hiked and seen more of the Smoky Mountains than most people, including me.

  4. That is so cool! Such a neat story. I know I would do the same thing if my children had gotten me something like that. Just something that reminds you of them and your love for each other.