Here I Go Again
It has been over ten months since I left the trail. A friend drove me to Nashville on Thursday, April 5, then another friend drove me to the trailhead on Friday. I decided I wanted to hike that day and hike past the place where I fell last year and broke my ankle. Just to get it over and done with. My wonderful, thoughtful friend offered to hike with me a few miles past the place, which helped distract me. I was a bit anxious and scared going back to that narrow ridge. I survived without falling. My friend hiked back to the car and I hiked forward. There was some light rain for the last couple of miles but not bad.
My friend stayed with me for several days to help me slack pack (that’s where you only have to hike with a day pack and you are dropped off and picked up farther down the trail). I thought it would be a good way to test my ankle. I hiked over seven miles.
The second day turned out cold with sleet. I was met at the end of the day with some hot chocolate. I also passed the 600-mile mark (that includes the mileage from last year’s hike). I hiked eight miles.
Well, the next day was even colder, with snow all around us. It was beautiful. I arranged for my friend to bring me a hot chocolate halfway, which definitely helped keep me motivated. I hiked over 11 miles. The day did warm up and snow slowly melted. The trail was not too muddy, which definitely helped the hiking. Had to ford Dismal Falls to get to the road so I could get picked up. The water was up to my knees but at least it was at the end of my hike. That night we stayed at Woods Hole, which is a hostel but way more than that. You can get a home cooked dinner and breakfast as well as massage if you want.
Plans have a habit of changing and it’s always good to go with the flow. I was supposed to hike on Sunday but Mother Nature had other plans. It had snowed again overnight and there were several inches of snow on the ground so I decided the massage was the way to go. I have to say Neville knows exactly where we hikers have sore muscles. It was wonderful. No miles hiked that day.
The next day, my friend left and I decided to hike southbound (SOBO for short) since there was less uphill. Even though I hiked over 13 miles that day it was pretty easy. It’s what one of the hikers (Texas) calls dessert hiking. Soft ground and flat. I did end up falling for the first time, twice that is, but always on soft ground so no damage except to my pride.
On Wednesday, April 11, I went NOBO again. Longest day so far. Over 16 miles, up mountains and over rocks and more rocks. Rocks slow me down since I have to adjust my gait. I also don’t want to trip over them. Snow was still around in spots, which was good since I forgot to bring water. I fed snow to Yankee until we reached a creek where I was able to filter water and he was able to drink his fill. The only good thing right now regarding climbing mountains is the views. Can’t wait until my lungs catch up.
Week two to follow.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.