Well, I’m Toast
“I’ll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile, will be worth my while
When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong” – Go the Distance from Hercules
Ignore my cheesy Disney lyrics … But when I got my trail name I felt like I finally belonged in this weird Appalachian Trail world.
I was at Top of Georgia (TOG) hostel and their kitchen area doesn’t have an outlet near the counter top. I had been sick the past two days and only wanted toast. So, I was holding the toaster waiting for 5 minutes when a worker informed me the outlet I was using was broken. The room was full and everyone was staring at me making toast …
People wanted to name me “Proctor Silex” the name of the actual toaster … But I figured “toast” would be easier to remember.
Day 1: Low Gap Shelter from Neel Gap. 11.5 miles.
Day 2: Tray Mountain Shelter. 15.4 miles.
Day 3: Budget Inn Hiawassee. 11 miles.
Day 4: TOG. 0 miles.
Day 5: Muskrat Creek Shelter. 11.5 miles.
Day 6: Carter Gap Shelter. 12.5 miles.
Day 7: Long Branch Shelter. 8.6 miles.
Day 8: Gooder Groove Hostel, Franklin, NC. 7.3 miles.
Day 9: Wayah Crest picnic area. 5.8 miles.
Day 10: Wesser Bald Shelter. 15.8 miles.
Day 11: Sassafras Gap Shelter. 12.6 miles.
Day 12: Brown Fork Gap Shelter. 9.1 miles.
Day 13: Fontana Hilton. 12.8 miles.
Day 14: Mollies Ridge Shelter. 11.4 miles.
Day 15: Derrick Knob Shelter. 12 miles.
Day 16: New Found Gap. 18.8 miles.
Day 17: Gatlinburg, TN. 0 miles.
Memories/ Highlights :
• Day 2 on the trail I had some stomach issues… Imagine having the worst stomach flu/ food poisoning of your life, but experiencing it outside , in the cold, wind and rain. I actually even ran out of toilet paper and had to cut up and ration my pack towel.
The next day I pushed more miles than intended to get to Hiawasee for some much needed medications. The following day I took a zero at TOG to recuperate. I didn’t start feeling completely okay until a few days ago.
•Pukes & Dukes was a jokingly suggested trail name … I’m glad that was avoided!
•I’ve met and have been hiking with two girls who also blog for Appalachian Trials! Dill & Stan. They give me life.
• the cold has frozen my shoes only once! I have trail runners and they unfroze quickly which made for a happy Toast, but unhappy toes.
• my tent clasps froze too! I had to breathe on them to get it to open.
•Neil opened a beer bottle with his teeth.
• my Klymit pack broke (Kevin) and it stabbed me in the butt repeatedly for 30+ miles . I now have an Osprey Aura.
•hiked an 18.7 mile day.
•The Doctor giving Blue a cheeseburger @ Newfound Gap when he was planning on hiking 3 more miles after already hiking 17.6. It was one of the happiest moments I’ve ever witnessed .
• we arrived at New Found Gap and lounged on the stone wall there. I now really understand the meaning of “hiker trash”.. I gave my legs a wet wipe bath , Blue made dinner, and Dill napped on her pack.. All on a monument with tourists around. We were literal trash in all their photos .
A cute little boy around 8 years old came up to us and asked “do you guys sleep here?”
I responded with, “no, we sleep in the shelters on the trail”
I realize my response probably made this boy think we were homeless… Which we kinda are ?
I spent my last semester of college trying to be someone I’m not. I put so much of my energy trying to be the “cool girlfriend “, pull off Summa Cumm Laude, and do all the college things that a college kid is supposed to do. I never felt like I was good enough.. Not good enough for my ex boyfriend, my scholarships, or my own standards.
Out here hiking, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.
I rely on myself to make my mood better, to hike all those miles, and to stay safe.
And I am more than enough.
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