Week 2: Hitting Milestones… Still a Mess
Today I find myself hunkered down in my tent on a ridge near Cold Spring Shelter (just a days hike from the NOC) hoping to ride out these looming thunderstorms all in one piece and mostly dry.
This morning I woke up before sunrise and hauled ass to this shelter, knowing the weather forecast and had convinced myself that I was going to break the shelter seal (I have a ridiculous fear of mice running across my face while sleeping) in the name of keeping gear less wet. However after 12 miles of serious hiking, I arrive to find the shelter already full and the promised tent sites closed for land reclamation. Hence the ridge. Those in the shelter hadn’t done the mileage we had and one shelter lady had the audacity to laugh and tell me, “I hear it’s cold up there, unlike down here.” First come first serve man… I’m trying not to hate them all. I really hate them all right now.
However, I’m fortunate in that I arrived in time to set up my tent before the big rain so most my gear is dry. I have a bag of non-cookable food (declared it was too wet to cook) that is comprised mostly of candy bars (at some point that’s going to catch up with me) that I am slowly munching on. And tomorrow if I put in 12 miles I can have a nice cold Coke at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. So it’s not all that bad. I’m living every 5 year old’s dream of eating candy and poptarts for dinner.
I would like to restate the fact that I am a mess. This hasn’t changed since I left Hiawassee the first time (I had another short stay in Hiawassee over Easter, thank Ma!). But I’ve hit some major milestones.
However everything comes with up and downs. My knee gash still looks gross (the doctor said it wasn’t infected). I had some knee pain. I’ve fallen several times, once soaking the butt of my pants and underwear in effort to not step in mud which I promptly stepped in. I threw away a pair of underwear I hated thinking that I could buy a new pair at the outfitters. (They didn’t.) Now I just have one pair. When my mother called the NOC to see if they did (they do) she failed to mention I still have a pair and when I roll in tomorrow I’m going to be known as the commando girl. (Thanks Ma…)
But I’ve met some great people. I ate dinner at a really nice restaurant and then went to the bars in Franklin, NC in my pajamas because the 5 other clothing items I have were being washed, and I was okay with it. The weather has been great (except for today, but I have service and can post! So that’s cool) I’ve received a ton of support from friends and family. I kinda cooked something that was decent other than couscous. My clothes smell less like fish. And I’ve come to realize that I’m totally fine doing my own thing. I spend a lot of time alone. I don’t think everyone is okay with that.
Not looking forward to dealing with this very muddy tent. Hoping it doesn’t blow away. Worse at some point I’m going to have to go hang my food bag/go to the bathroom. Not looking forward to that either. But in the meantime enjoying my candy and poptart dinner. So healthy.
PS I’m still on the hunt for a trail name. Nothing has really stuck.
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