Progress and Positivity on My Return to the Trail
I am now 393.7 miles northbound on the Appalachian Trail. This means I have nearly matched the miles I completed prior to my injury and five-week hiatus. My feet seem to be holding up fairly well and the fracture site does not seem to be giving me any problems. I returned to the trail with lighter footwear (Asics trail runners), which have been great for the natural movement of my foot (compared to my previous heavy hiking boots). My feet and ankles are certainly still sore and swollen after long days, but it’s nothing a little ice and elevation can’t fix! I feel as though I’m back to hiking condition already and I am becoming a bit more coordinated with my trekking poles (only tripping myself once or twice a day now). Although I still think they look ridiculous; I have to admit they have helped take some pressure off of my feet. All in all, I’m feelin’ good on the trail!
Peace out, North Carolina!
The trail has been weaving back and forth between North Carolina and Tennessee for a while now; however, I officially left North Carolina behind yesterday.
This is exciting as it’s the first state I have walked into and out of along the trail. I have about 75 miles left of Tennessee, and then it’s on to the much anticipated Virginia. North Carolina has been wild and beautiful and certainly didn’t go out without a bang.
Not only has North Carolina provided great views, I have also seen a number of different critters along the trail.
I think these little newts are my favorite.
Why did Styx climb the mountain?
To get to the other side, of course.
This last week has been a rather wet one and the forecast seems to show more of the same. The trail was a mudslide descending into town yesterday and there seemed to be a rather solemn understanding among fellow hikers that this is simply something we have to deal with sometimes. As much as we would love it, we can’t always expect to get that beautiful view after spending hours hiking to the top of a mountain. Sometimes the fog is so thick, you can’t see the hiker in front of you. Sometimes the ankle-deep mud strips us of our footwear. Sometimes the wind and sideways rain is deafening and disorienting. Sometimes you hike up a mountain simply to get to the other side.
Luckily, the days of good weather more than make up for the tough days.
Some views are obvious proof that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Two states / 393.7 miles down,
Twelve states / 1,796.3 miles to go.
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