Day 60 – And Then There Were Two
Today was a bitter and somewhat unexpected pill to swallow. Another one of our Tramily members will be going home. Not today, but within the next week or so most definitely. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
We all woke up fairly early today. Our track record lately hasn’t been the best but today we we’re all up and getting ready before 8:00. A good night of sleep will do that, we’re learning. Breakfast was poptarts and carnation instant breakfast mixed with instant coffee. We were on the trail by 9:00.
The morning was a gentle climb for about six miles. We took a break at a road four miles in for snacks. A 510-calorie cosmic brownie did the trick and I was ready to go after some social media posting. I saw a small garden snake sunbathing on the trail shortly after starting. I’m still finding myself mildly paranoid about snakes at times. I suppose with the warming weather that’s a good precaution to have.
We took another break at War Spur Shelter roughly at our halfway point for the day. Our plan was 21.5 miles to Sarver Hallow Shelter. I had been listening to more Uncle Toms Cabin and a quote from the book struck me so I wrote it down. The quote was
”He who has nothing to lose, can afford all risks”
I even wrote it in the shelter log.
Shortly after, while filling up water Sip told me with certainty this time, that this would be his last week on the trail. He has other goals and things he wants to do with his time this summer and I fully respect and understand that. It’s sad nonetheless to see him go.
We hiked six miles together to the next shelter. We discussed his plans, motivations and what specifically Rabbit did to make him want to leave us (totally kidding). He and I talked about what our expectations were for finishing the trail we’re when we started and how we’ve progressed and changed up to this point.
We had final snacks, chats, and goodbyes at Laurel Creek Shelter. There was a cloud that dampened our spirits in that moment. I don’t smoke, but I bummed a cigarette to smoke in solidarity with Rabbit and Sip. I felt like the popular meme photo of Ben Affleck smoking.
Sip would be walking the next few days slower to reflect and enjoy his last week on the trail. We got photos with him and had some heartfelt (temporary) last words with him. During this dialogue there was another older gentleman present in the Shelter. In the midst of our words with Sip, the old man proceeded to fart so loudly that it audibly vibrated the shelter floor boards as we were saying our goodbyes.
Rabbit and I got water at a nearby stream and could not contain our laughter at the fart. We reflected on our time with Sip as we hiked on. We had seven more miles to Sarvers Hollow. Those seven miles took us across some picturesque fields.
We eventually arrived at the Shelter just after 9:00 p.m. and hiked the final 30 minutes or so with our headlamps. We found one other gentleman in the shelter and set up for the night. Tomorrow we have 20 miles into a hostel for the night.
While we’re looking forward to a hot meal and an actually bed, it will be an adjustment not having Sip around. We’re still waiting to hear if Hatcher will be rejoining us or if he’s going to get back on the trail where he left off (over 100 miles back at this point). Time will tell.
Stay tuned for day 61 on the AT.
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