Days 40 through 45 on the Appalachian Trail
I woke up early even though I was in a comfy town bed. I think my body is used to waking up with the sun so I can’t sleep in anymore. Bug and I walked over to the other hotel where our other friends stayed. They had bought too much permethrin so we sprayed our hiking clothes and left them out to dry. I walked over to Walmart and bought a new spork since I snapped mine in half while packing up my backpack. I called a shuttle, which Bug, Dream, Firebow, and I split. We all sat at the trailhead for a while eating lunch and finally got to hiking. I hiked the 9 miles with Bug and Firebow. We had great conversations about the meaning of life and whether God exists. It was fascinating hearing different perspectives. We arrived at a schoolhouse for the night. It was built in 1893 and was used until 1939. It was creepy at first but I was so happy to be inside that I didn’t care. We cooked dinner on the porch and saw a really pretty rainbow.
The sun is rising earlier every day so I was able to start hiking at 7 a.m. without a headlamp. It was so pretty hiking through foggy meadows as the sun rose. Three miles into my day I arrived at a gas station. I saw Bug’s backpack outside so I went in to say hi. We ended up sitting outside the gas station for two hours eating snacks and drinking chocolate milk. With our stomachs full, we continued our hike through sunny fields and meadows. We reached the 1/4 to Maine sign halfway through our day. It feels surreal that I’ve hiked this far and I’m so glad that I have plenty of trail left to enjoy. I stopped at a creek and took off my shoes to put my feet in but the water was so cold it made my feet hurt even more. We arrived at a shelter after 17 miles but I decided to set up my tent because I wanted my own space for the night.
I was out and hiking by 6 a.m. because I wanted to be able to take the day slow and enjoy it while still getting in miles. I arrived at a river crossing four miles into the day. Luckily it hadn’t rained in a couple of days so the water was only halfway up my shins. The uphill after that was so hard. I saw a giant black snake on the way up which scared me so much. I got to the top of the mountain where there was a shelter. I contemplated staying there for the night since it was supposed to rain all afternoon but I decided to keep going. I put on my poncho and raincoat just as it started drizzling. I hiked the last few miles with Bug and we played 20 questions. It was so fun and made the time pass by really fast. We arrived at a shelter after 20 miles and luckily we were able to squeeze in and didn’t have to set up our tents in the rain. I got my wet clothes off and made a ramen bomb. After two honey buns, I was satisfied and went to sleep content with the day.
I didn’t set an alarm but once again woke up early. I hung out with everyone at the shelter for a while and then got hiking. It was a sunny and flat morning and I really enjoyed it. 11 miles later I arrived at a road to trail magic. I got an iced tea and some peanut butter crackers. Bug and I got a ride into town where we resupplied, charged our phones, and lay our clothes out to dry from the rain. We got a hitch back to the trail at 6 p.m. and arrived four miles later at a campsite. It was my first time night hiking and I really liked it. Seeing the sunset from up on a ridgeline was stunning. I set up my tent and ate a sandwich I had packed out from town.
I woke up to the sound of Bug packing up her tent. I got up and packed up. It felt good to starting hiking because it was still cool out. I hit the 600-mile marker early in my day. My feet started to hurt so I took a lunch break at a pretty campsite. I sat there for an hour eating lunch and listening to the birds chirping. Firebow and Smiles passed by so I decided to hike with them. We went through some meadows with lots of flowers and cows. We arrived at a road crossing after 14 miles where I walked to a hostel to pick up a package and they walked to a gas station. We decided to camp near a waterfall. At the gas station, Bug had bought marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers so it was a fun night filled with yummy food. We cowboy camped and I fell asleep to the sound of the water.
I woke up to a slightly damp sleeping bag from the condensation of the river. Bug and I stopped at the gas station on the way back to the trail and got coffee and breakfast. We started hiking on a flat beautiful section of trail. I saw a snake slither into a tree and a deer eating grass. I also saw a turkey vulture circling over its next meal. I listened to some podcasts and ate the rest of my Parmesan cheese for lunch. My feet felt really strong all day but when I arrived at a road crossing I was excited to head to a hostel and be in a real bed for the night.
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