The Wall Street Journal's award-worthy "this is what former rich people are up to" coverage continues today with a story on how so many Americans are dropping everything to "hike the Appalachian Trail."
Like Dan Kearns! Dan Kearns is a construction worker from Florida, and because there is no construction in Florida anymore, he does not have very much to do. So he decided to rename himself "Snipe" and hike north on the trail with guys named "Angry Hippie" and "Dance Party." This is "a symbol" of either "a jobless recovery or of a still-deepening recession" and there are data that prove its a trend:
Typically, about 1,000 hikers leave Georgia each spring in hopes of completing the trail in one all-out trek. This year, trail monitors say, close to 1,400 hikers were in the first wave, with hundreds more following behind through early summer.
People who start at the bottom and hike up are called "NoBos," and people who do it the other way are called "SoBos." The Journal notes: "NoBos and SoBos are reminiscent of the hobos of the Great Depression, though there aren't so many of them this time."
"Hiking the Appalachian Trail" was invented by South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, and while there is a lot of talk of actual hiking through Virginia with modern-day ex-banker hobos or whatever it actually means secretly flying to Argentina to have sex with a woman who isn't your wife.