Day 88 – Marathon Week, Day #6

Marathon Day 6 was sticky. At least that’s how I woke up. I woke up around 6AM covered in the previous days filth. I needed a shower, food, and to leave my not-so-stealth camp site from the night prior. A few dog walkers had passed by already and I was becoming self-conscious of being found by someone with authority.

I started hiking in a mood. Several moods perhaps. Angry, determined, ambivalent, lonely, focused, etc (you get the idea, I was all over the place). My feet hurt from the days prior. 30 or so miles would get me close to Rabbit and put me in a good place for the final day of Marathon week. The early start could work out ok.

I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line into PA to start my day. Putting MD In the rear view mirror felt good and like turning a new page. The change in mindset was a good thing. Pennsylvania was a whole new trail and I decided chasing challenges to stroke my ego was not making me enjoy the AT any more (quite the opposite really). I was missing out on places I would have liked to see and enjoying the journey overall.

Also the short night of sleep had me exhausted once again so I was going to rest when I needed to and take care of #1. I laid down and took a power nap in a shelter for 30 minutes. I cold soaked my feet in a stream when I needed to. I resisted a very tempting urge to road walk or yellow blaze at short 2 mile section of trail. This was because the water source took me a half mile downhill right next to a road. But this would lead to the “slippery slope” of quitting, Rabbit and I had previously discussed.

I even got back to my Audiobook and finished “Catch 22” today. I’d say overall I enjoyed it and it had compelling dialogue about what “sacrifice” means. It means more when the sacrifice is given willingly than when it’s ordered or asked for. Hiking the AT might be considered a sacrifice if it wasn’t due to self-serving motivations. There are definitely other things I could being doing during these 6 months that are more productive to the general fabric of society.

My feet are aching today, in whole new places also. The dead center of my arches are almost raw (mostly just the right foot). But I press on (because stupidity knows no bounds). There were more large boulders and rock formations but an otherwise standard day.

I made it to Caledonia State Park after about 18 miles. There was a public pool there I had my eyes set one. I was dismayed to find out they were closed ok Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I went to the nearby stream to soak my feet while my devices charged. Kristen and I had a phone conversation airing our collective life’s grievances presently affecting us (her’s was work, mine the trail).

It was getting dark and I decided I needed to figure out a place to sleep. There was a shelter 2 miles up but I wasn’t feeling up to it. Emboldened by my previous nights defiance, I found a stealth spot in the park hidden from view between two parallel rows of trees and bushes. Spirits were better and I was within striking distance of Rabbit who took a zero to rest his feet. Something I desperately needed also.

Tracker numbers were as follows. We started the day at 47.8 . After today:

Chasing Rabbit Tracker: 29.2 miles.

Let’s recap marathon week this far:

Day 1: 27.6

Day 2: 22.6

Day 3: 23.7

Day 4: 33

Day 5: 14.5

Day 6: 18.6

Average: 23.3

Marathon week is in play if I do 44 miles tomorrow (not happening).

Stow stow away in my pack for day 90 of the Appalachian Trail.

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Comments 7

  • CB : Jul 14th

    Another outstanding post! Excellent pics! Thanks for the laughs.

  • Charlotte : Jul 14th

    Great photos! Wonderful details about physical, and mental challenges. It’s sucky when the extremes you’re experiencing coincides with the need to throw a deserved “pity party”…I appreciate your storytelling ability and wish you luck as you once again find the balance.

  • Smitty : Jul 14th

    Going insane on the trail is no excuse for quitting because.. well you know the rest. Just stumbled on your blog, fun, I’ll read some more and come up with something witty to say

  • Steve : Jul 14th

    I have been following you since day one. I appreciate your writing style and your dedication to daily posts. You never fail to make me smile, even though I know at times you are miserable. Journey on.
    And thanks for letting me stow away in your pack!!!

  • thetentman : Jul 15th

    The Wabbit hunt continues. Nice post and pics.


  • ELS : Jul 15th

    I have also been following you since day one. Am now anxiously awaiting your reunion with Rabbit. Keep up the great posts. They are appreciated by those who live vicariously.

  • Jim Osborne : Jul 15th

    So awesome reading about your journey man! Glad we were there with you at the start. (with Luke, Joe, Taylor, Matt). We are doing another weekend trip starting where we left off at Coopers next weekend. Enjoy the journey, you got this!


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