Friday, May 24
I don’t know…maybe it was because we had done two 21.5 mile days earlier this week. Maybe it was because it rained every day and our boots have been constantly wet. Maybe it’s because we were only 15 minutes from the shelter when the sky opened up and soaked us yesterday, or how it rained and hailed all night against the tin roof with the wind blowing fiercely, or how the one guy snored at a frantic pace while another guy kept saying, “Would someone nudge that guy and make him stop already (words edited so as not to offend).”
Perhaps it was because when we woke up it was 34 degrees and raining which made us drag our heels so that we didn’t get on the trail until 10:30, or how the whole day was a rock obstacle course and the wind kept trying to knock us off our feet.
I can’t put my finger on it exactly but I have to tell you, I was having a bad day. Each step was made by sheer determination. Otherwise I would have sat down in the middle of the trail and refused to move (at least that was the picture in my head).
Through sheer grit, and Prairie Dog’s encouragement combined with counting down the last hour in 15 minute increments, we made it to the next shelter – but shy of our original goal of a camp 1.2 miles north. When I saw the roof of the shelter from around the bend I cried with relief for 3 whole seconds (a virtual breakdown for a Norwegian).
We set up our tent, ate dinner, got a good night’s sleep and headed out Saturday morning refreshed. We made up the lost mileage and got back on track with a spring in my step and songs to be sung.
Just thought we should be honest with you about the bad days since we like to tell you all about the good ones. As a hiker named Steady told us back at Neel Gap in Georgia, “It’s folks our age that are most likely to finish because we’ve got tenacity that the younger hikers don’t have yet. ” (By the way, Steady is hiking the International Appalachian Trail from Florida to Nova Scotia.)
So thanks for all your encouragement. It helps us every day. 500+ miles so far. We’re still moving forward with good spirits and tenacity.
Blessings on the journey, Dragonfly