Month 2 on the A.T
Month Duce on the A.T
Since the last time, I’ve updated you guys. I’ve had A lot of downs and some ups. I’ve destroyed some stuff. I’ve hurt some stuff. I’ve lost weight. A lot of weight. I have had pity parties. I have had mental breakthroughs. I’ve done miles 300, 400 500, and in another day or two, I will hit 600.
These will be some of the highlights or lowlights of my experiences on this beautifully cruel adventure known as the Appalachian Trail.
Let’s start with some heat
So I have started to do more miles. I am up to about 15 a day now. One of the issues that arise when you do 15 mi is all of your clothes are soaking wet with sweat. So naturally, you want to try and dry your clothes out. Seeing as there were no maytags on top of the mountain, I figured a fire would have to do. I get a nice fire going. I stick a stick into the ground and hang my wet clothes on it. After a few hours, when it was time to go to bed, my clothes still weren’t quite dry. So I decided to put them closer to the fire on the rocks of the fire ring. Well, I was right. That was the right thing to do to dry them out. What I didn’t realize was that it was also the right thing to do to melt a hole through my shorts and my underwear. I completely melted the butt pocket off of my running shorts. The shorts also received holes in the middle of both thighs. My underwear received the hole right where the frank and beans are supposed to go. Luckily I was able to repair the underwear with some gear tape. The shorts lived on life support until I could get to Walmart. I also melted the tongue of my shoes by putting them on top of the wood-burning stove at Uncle Johnny’s hostel.
That’s pretty bad because I had to walk around in those shorts and everybody could see that I had burnt my clothes.
What’s worse is I have to see the burn in my tent. But nobody else does. I learned that you start your jet boil too close to a bug net. That bug net will freaking disintegrate. Luckily gear tape once again saved the day.
How about some falls?
The first thing I would like to say is I would never be a spokesperson for Hoka shoes, and my shoes are so damn slippery it is ridiculous in light rain. I had a nice easy 3-mile descent into the next shelter. During that time, I fell not once, not twice, not even three times but five times. After I got up the fifth time, I threw my hiking poles as hard as I could at the shelter. I launched my pack into the corner of the shelter and pitched a fit while I worked on getting dry and quitting for the day.
There was the time, after leaving Marion, Virginia, that I twisted my ankle, causing me to collapse. When I collapsed, I hit my opposite knee on a rock and folded like a briefcase with my pack on my back. I was stuck. I sat there and cried for a bit. Then I gathered myself and planted my hiking sticks to get up; in that process, I bent my hiking pole.
For the icing on the cake. I want to take you to the Mary Inn in Marion. In that hostel was a really cool bathroom. It has an old tub in it with a halo shower curtain around it. I decided to take a shower before hitting the trail. In that shower, I was washing my feet. Then gravity chose to get its Issac Newton, on and have some fun with me. Next thing I know, I’m butt-ass naked on the floor. The entire shower was ripped out. Water was spraying all over the place. When the shower is intact, it acts as a curtain to the window that faces downtown, Marion. So I am naked, trying to turn off the water and clean up, not realizing I could have been given the downtown a free show. When I fell out of the shower, I caught myself with one arm, and of course, I hurt my shoulder. That makes wearing a pack all day an absolute peach.
My current mindset
I have lost about 30 pounds so far. My bag is under 40. I have been moving better. I guess you could say I have my trail legs now. I’m knocking the miles out now. That feels pretty good.
It took a long time to feel that way. I was straight up not having a good time, yo. But thanks to getting my inner David Goggins on and a magical candy bar. I was able to have the self-talk I needed. I was able to get back to my why. I was able to allow myself to have fun. I was finally on my way to hiking my own hike, and I’ve been doing much better since then.
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I know it seems crazy but it will get easier. I hope you believe that.
I love how you keep it real! Great read!
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