Day 27: Stupid Stinkin’ Everything

Sometimes A Locked Gate is a Locked Gate

Yesterday, while perusing the FarOut app during my last break of the day, I discovered that Wolf Laurel was a private gated community. I’d hoped to meet Northstar (Mrs. I) at the Bald Head Trailhead above Wolf Laurel. Nope. Not unless we bought a luxury vacation home in the next 16 hours. For the record, we did not buy a luxury home. This story does not end that way.

Discovering that fact late yesterday afternoon was a pain. But not as much as it would have been finding out this afternoon, and realizing I needed to hike another seven miles to the nearest road crossing. My choices were to either shorten today’s hike to 8.6 miles (to Sam’s Gap) or do 22 miles to Spivey Gap.

Going Short

I just wasn’t feeling the 22. My hips and feet hurt from yesterday’s mileage. Plus, I woke up grumpy. So, I took the shorter option, knowing that meant I’d probably fall behind most everyone I know. That didn’t improve my mood.

Good Boy

On the positive side, a shorter day meant Gus could come along. He could harder contain himself when I called him out of the van, he was so happy. And he’s such a good trail dog. He sticks right behind me, stays right on the trail, doesn’t pester other hikers or chase chipmunks.

His one vice is that he’s a fetch-aholic. At one point, I kicked a loose rock off the trail, rolling it down the steep side-slope. Gus was on it in a second, chasing the rock 90 yards down the slope, giving up only when he realized it was too big to carry.

Captain Grumpy Pants

Gus may have been happy, but I was not. For me, today sucked. I woke up grumpy. I walked grumpy. And I grumped at every flower and view I saw. I crabbed about the trail, the (many, many) stairs, forgetting to camel up at the last water, and just about everything else that crossed my mind. And yes, I crabbed about the climbs that just yesterday I had achieved a perfect Zen state about. Fortunately, I saw no one else on the trail, so I didn’t kill anyone.

As a side note, I hate stairs, especially the logs-across-the-trail kind. Yeah, they protect the trail, prevent erosion, preserve stream quality, provide a more stable walking surface…blah, blah, blah. We hates them, we do.

Trail Magic to the Rescue

And just when I’d worked myself into a hateful lather about everything and nothing, I walked into Sam’s Gap where three, count ‘em, three separate groups had set up trail magic. It’s amazing what some free pancakes, eggs, soda, cookies, muffins, hot dogs, and chips can do for one’s mood. Especially, when there’s enough to share with your dog.

Daily Stats:

  • Start: Devil’s Fork Gap (Mile 311.1)
  • End: Sam’s Gap (Mile 319.7)
  • Weather: Overcast, cool then warm
  • Earworm: Hosanna (from JC Superstar, not my favorite)
  • Meditation: Js 3:10-12
  • Plant of the Day: Dwarf Larkspur. Also Broadleaf Waterleaf.
  • Best Thing: I didn’t kill anymore. Also, trail magic x3 at Sam’s Gap.
  • Worst Thing: Suffering, such suffering…oh, woe is me

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Comments 12

  • Black eyed Susan : May 6th

    Glad you got through without killing anyone. Hearty trail magic is awesome. Keep em coming. Love your logs on the Trek. I’m routing for you!

    • Jon : May 7th

      Thanks, B-E Susan! (One of my favorite flowers, btw)

  • Charlotte : May 6th

    I love following your journey. I have finally caught up to your posts! Now I’m going to Amazon and purchase your River Elegy books-or at least puruse them-because
    I don’t know what an Elegy is, but I do love rivers.
    Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Philippians 4:13, have been two of my strongest Bible phrases when I wonder “WTF am I doing, or going”….
    Am looking forward to your next miles, and states! With God all things are possible! Prayers work! He listens.

    • Jon : May 7th

      Thanks for the verses and encouragement!
      An elegy is a poem, song, or story of remembrance. My narratives of my books are built on a framework of the stories of my solo canoe journeys down the Verde & Gila Rivers, but they are really stories about the rivers themselves. I made the journeys (and wrote the books) because the rivers are being killed by development, and I wanted to document their beauty and history before they were gone forever.

  • thetentman : May 7th

    I have hiked angry. It does provide some motivation, but a cold soda and snacks wash it away every time.


    • Jon : May 7th

      Taking your advice right now.

  • Homeward-2016 : May 7th

    I remember a day just like that, somewhere in southern Virginia. I was really angry that the trail had to cross over the top of every single knoll on every single ridge line. I was so angry on that day that I felt like Jonah after God gave him the plant for shade and then took it away. Just when I had reached the boiling point, I crossed a road in the middle of nowhere, and a fellow thruhiker (Mustard Seed) and his wife were dispensing trail mercy. I knew right then that my Father had his eyes on me. May my Father make himself known to you throughout your journey. I am enjoying your posts!

    • Jon : May 7th

      Thanks, Homeward!

  • Tim the Brother : May 7th

    Loving your writing as always, brother! Praying for a safe hike and looking forward to more books.

    • Jon : May 8th

      LOL. How cool, someone with the same name as my brother is reading my blog! Oh, duh.

  • Robert : May 29th

    Really made me laugh when I read Js 3.10-12 after reading about your grumpy day. I’m glad you’re meditating.

    • Jon : May 30th

      Lol. I try. Work in progress.


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