Day 89 – Marathon Week, Day #7

It took everything in me not to jump the fence to the pool in Caledonia Park when the sun went down. Instead, I slept at my stealth site like a good boy, and in the morning washed off as best I could in the public bathroom. I got a good nights sleep and woke up around 730. I even DoorDash’d myself some hot wings and pizza from 7-Eleven to the park for breakfast. My eyes were too big for my stomach (per usual) and a few slices went wasted, but the wings were packed out for a snack later.

I started hiking that morning around 930 feeling pretty good. About 2 miles up the hill, I came to one of, if not the best shelters I’ve seen all trail. The shelter had flower pots hung from the rafters, air fresheners inside the privy, and it was immaculately clean and pristine throughout. It almost made me wish I’d of stayed there the night before.

I passed by some day hikers who mentioned there might be some trail magic up ahead. My mouth started salivating immediately as I looked forward to this potential good fortune. My pace quickened, which was made easier by fairly cruise-y terrain. Additional motivation came from reaching the halfway mile marker for the trail, as well as ice cream for celebrating the halfway mile stone. A general store in Town offers what is affectionately termed the “half-gallon challenge” (and brilliant marketing if you think about it).

Miles ticked on by as the terrain continued to be relatively easy going. I hit the trail magic about 30 minutes prior to them closing up for the day. It was a nice older couple who has been doing in trail magic here for the last nine years. They made me a hamburger, and fed me chips and most of a 2 L bottle of Mountain Dew. I was stuffed to the gills and did not know how I would be able to waddle on down the trail. We chatted while I digested for the next 30 minutes or so as they packed up. It was onward to ice cream after that.

Along the way, I passed the halfway mile marker. It was great feeling to know I was 50% done. In my rowing race analogy, this would put me at the 1000 meter mark of a 2K race. Typically at that spot in the race you’ll do a power 10 strokes to start good momentum into the second half of the race. I feel that power 10 is culminating today with the end of marathon week, but I do expect this momentum to continue forward from here. That is provided my feet and little aches and pains can heal up before the real rocks start later in the state.

I arrived into town at 7:02PM, just missing the open hours for the general store. In lieu of the store, I got directions down to the lake, knowing a cool dip might calm my disappointment. I found out that Fuller Lake is named after Mr. Fuller who ran a quarry in this location.  As legend has it, three days after his death, the quarry struck an underground spring, which flooded the quarry and led to what is now Fuller Lake. The water was cool at the shore, and got more refreshing the deeper I went into the water.

Random thought of the day:

When planning where to put your feet in a rock field, always think two steps ahead (ba dum crash).

On my way back to find a camping spot I passed by a pavilion that had a couple rabbits, jumping in the grass together. A premonition of things to come?

After being unable to locate the campground and having poor service to map where it might be, I decided to check out the local hostel. It was the best decision I made all day. The hostel was located in an old historic mansion. It was basically self check-in and self service which I enjoyed tremendously. I managed to get laundry done, catch up on blogs and relax. It was a nice reset and one of my earlier finishes to the day.

Tracker numbers were as follows. We started the day at 29.2 . After today:

Chasing Rabbit Tracker: 10.5 miles.

These are the final numbers for marathon week:

Day 1: 27.6

Day 2: 22.6

Day 3: 23.7

Day 4: 33

Day 5: 14.5

Day 6: 18.

Day 7: 20

Average: 22.7

Marathon week is in the books. We lost fellas. But see what marathon week was to me, reminds me of a story called “the puppy who lost his way.” You see the marathon week was like the puppy, and that they were both lost in the woods. Trying to put up big miles but loosing the forest for the trees. And nobody, especially the little boy (society) knew where to find him. Except that the puppy was dog, trying to hike marathons. But this thru-hike my friends, that’s the real marathon (also a revolution). Nibb High Football Rules!!

If you’re confused, shame on you and go watch Billy Madison. Also you’re all now dumber for having read that last paragraph (you’re welcome).

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

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Comments 3

  • thetentman : Jul 15th

    Damn, good pics. Thx.

  • Chris : Jul 16th

    Ya know, at this rate when you catch up to Rabbit, he’s gonna have to speed up to keep up with you.

  • CB : Jul 17th

    HAHAHA! Excellent post! May God have mercy on your soul.


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