A Month on Trail, and Spring Is Popping Up
At last signs of springs are showing up. A single bluebird and a robin at Max Patch. Frogs at dammed pond, a huge toad next to the French Broad River. A single shadblow blooming on Pump Gap. Of course, great trail towns like Hot Springs; had Callery pears, and Japanese cherries, forsythia, and daffodils abound. At Newfound Gap my buddy Lucky and I attempted to hitchhike in the freezing rain for an hour on a closed road.
Amazingly, we succeeded to get a lift from a sweet lady ranger into Cherokee. Our thoughts of reuniting with Swede in Gatlinburg and steaks at roadhouse were not in our cards. We zeroed the next day and enjoyed the Cherokee museum and cultural center. There we enjoyed exquisite flute music and story time from a young Cherokee man who he told us stories of nature and twice said never to believe the sweet music of a titmouse because they are liars. I won’t ever look at them the same. Beware of proclamations of spring from titmouse. Just passing on the word.
The miles continue to tick by; 16.7 on my final day of the month. I closed the month at 344 miles giving me an average of 11.47 miles a day. Had one 20-miler and hope to do more depending on topography.
Staying healthy is important on the trail for me, with the cold and damp weather; additional immunity boost Emergent C is a daily ritual, as well as a multivitamin and 500 mg of vitamin C. Plus my psyllium routine, as you may have read about.
Things I haven’t considered that can bugger up my hike: flooding, landslides, adverse weather, and fires. Besides weather and fires, I never considered the other two. Frankly, I’m not concerned with fires so much since the East Coast has had exceptional rain since last year this time, but we’ve seen both landslides and flooding. Saw some side trails closed due to landslides and also where the French Broad River had flooded the AT early in the season. Things to think about for sure.
Remember, good trail karma is always present when you pay it forward. Happy trails, y’all!
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