The Good, The Bad & The Hungry: Volume 1
It has been a long while since I have posted anything. This is due to various reasons. First and foremost, there’s the procrastination that has long been bred into me. I journal in my notebook, but then the days and weeks start to pile up, and I become flustered at the idea of having to compile so many shenanigans into one blog. Then, and more plainly, I have had an immense lack of desire to type anything out. Typing things out requires a dedication that I didn’t realize would be so difficult to commit to while on trail. I tried typing while in towns, but when I’m in town my brain collapses, and for better lack of terms I become utterly useless. This same in-town-stupidness happens to Seamster as well, and together we do dumb things. For example, back in Tennessee we stayed at Kinkora Hostel and were shuttled to a grocery store. “Alright, we need oatmeal, granola bars, some snacks, and two more dinners,” Seamster explains. I nod as we pull up to the store. We made it out with a bag of chips, some candy and not one, not two, but three full sized frozen pizzas. And to add to our in-town-stupidity our incredible resupply failure didn’t dawn on us until we were already being driven back up to the hostel.
All this being said, I am a little disappointed in myself for not being more disciplined about writing more. So, I went out and bought an external charger for my phone so I can try typing in my tent more often, and I am going to try to be more regular with posts. I can’t keep up with every single thing that happens on the trail, and so I am going to try to fit what I think about into three main categories: The Good, The Bad & The Hungry. It is difficult to “sum things up,” especially when the thing you are summing up is attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. So, instead of trying to sum it all up, I’m just going to talk about whatever comes to mind. The Good, for the good and not-bad things that happen. The Bad, because shit happens all the time. The Hungry, because I am always hungry, and I think about food all of the time.
I sit at the Grace Lutheran Church Hostel, my belly full with kale, cake and Oreos. Everyone here in Waynesboro has been incredibly kind and welcoming.
We have hikes about 850 miles. Almost halfway done.
I saw a lot of ponies in the Grayson Highlands.
After hitching a ride from the town of Pearisburg, VA back to the trail, we hiked ten miles only to realize that I had left my phone in the back of the said ride’s pick up truck. We hiked ten more miles, got a ride back to Pearisburg, ate alot of ice cream, waited for hours at the spot where we got picked up hoping we would see the same truck again (turns out we did), and ended up sleeping behind the Food Lion. We got up early and bought markers with which we made flyers to put up all over town. We stopped at almost every business to tell our story. Miles and over a week later, I sat at my friends’ house in Roanoke. I sadly decided to give my phone one more call before shutting it off for good and getting a new one, and to my surprise the guy with the truck answered. He mailed it to me, so I now have it and all of my pictures back. Thanks Jared! If that’s not trail magic, I don’t know what is. (In the midst of all the desperation and sleep deprevity, we forgot to take a picture of our awesome, handmade flyer.)
My friends in Texas sent me a goodie box. It is very encouraging to receive something from friends, especially when that something includes homemade cookies and a package of curry. Oh and coffee. Real and not instant coffee. Can I get an amen?
I officially have a trail name added to my name. Call me Button the Glutton, as I am a glutton for things like dogs, tacos and pillows.
I strained my calves badly somewhere in Tennessee. They are now better, thanks to rest and lots of stretching. Hiking up mountains with strained calves is defeating. Example: we got up at 4 am to put in a long day. I couldn’t even make it up a tiny incline. We had to walk back to the road, wait for daylight, hitch a ride back into town and spend another day & night at the hostel.
We are no longer in the Grayson Highlands. Fare thee well ponies. I will miss your majesticness.
I have cellulitis. It fucking sucks. It’s fairly painful and all over the tender areas of my chest and side. This location is awful, especially since my pack rubs against it all damn day long. Our zero days can never go injury/sickness free.
Seamster got food poisoning from a sad burrito, because our zero days can never go injury/sickness free.
The floods in Texas have left my heart feeling a bit homesick.
A good friend has had to go home. Stormcloak, ye shall be missed.
The hunger hit me in Franklin, NC- a long while ago. I remember the moment: I destroyed a Garden Omelette plate at huddle house (something I’d usually only eat half of), and when even the crumbs had been licked off the plate, I wanted more. Much more.
Seamster and I went through a honey bun phase. It is possible to gain weight on the trail, and of course I’d be the one coming out of the Smokies with some extra weight. We have since decided that our Little Debbie intake needs to be very small.
I am lucky to have a great At-Home-Trail-Angel, Mother Mary. She is Seamster’s mom, and is very dear to the both of us. Without her, we wouldn’t have our dehydrated vegetables, Aldi dinners, summer gear and pretty much anything else we want. Plus, she always adds extra goodies. Extra goodies make for a much better day.
I am always and constantly hungry.
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