April 12. I started off today in a good mood but quickly grew very tired and started to feel like I was just trudging along. Need a rest day soon. It’s interesting to me to think about how slow I hike all day (1.5 miles/hr) but I guess because I hike all day I manage to make headway.
Noted again the vegetation changes, or lack of green, at higher elevations. Even having sparse green grass lining the trail for a while does a lot to spruce up the scenery. I’m ready for more green, can only stay so motivated with all this brown around.
Very tough day with climbs up the jump up, cheoah bald, and Jacobs ladder. The mountains weren’t as high in Georgia- getting tougher! I try to have a good attitude but when I’m sweating and struggling up a mountain with a heavy pack, body tired and hips aching, sometimes I stop and think, “Is this fun?” It’s not always fun.
Usually something good happens every day though. Today when I got down to Stecoah Gap a woman drove to the parking area and handed me a box of strawberries for the picnic table for thru hikers. That was a really nice treat to eat and share with the hikers after me.
Later in the day, when I was really weary, I greeted a hiker passing me. When I returned the “how are you?”, he responded gleefully, “Just another day in paradise”. Sometimes when you’re tired with a mountain ahead, it is easy to resent that kind of relentless positivity! Made me wonder, why don’t I feel like that?! Then I read this “Thru-hikers Lament” from the back of my map of the Appalachian Trail:
Some days I get lost in thinking while my legs walk steadily on. Other times my spirit and my feet quietly tag along. But today all I am is a body hauling this heavy pack. And although I keep trying there just ain’t no denying that 40 pounds sit on my back!
By Walk On, A Cosmic Yankee
It was perfect. Who knows what tomorrow holds?
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