Will Love Be Enough? I’m No Longer Sure…
It is mind boggling to realize that we’ve hiked 500+ miles of the Appalachian Trail. It is soul crushing to have to leave the AT and go home. That is where I find myself today.
My knee pain started as we left Erwin to summit Beauty Spot. As beautiful as this bald mountain is, it became harder and harder to ignore the pain in my knees.
Of course the pain didn’t abate as we climbed the other Tennessee balds in the Roan Highlands, including the absolutely stunning vista on Hump Mountain.
It continued as we climbed up to Thomas Knob Shelter and celebrated we had completed 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail as we searched for ponies and dodged cow pies.
Finally, as we navigated the boulders and cliffs of Grayson Highlands, I had to admit it was time to go home. My steady diet of naproxen (aka Aleve) no longer alleviated the pain for more than a few hours and it was seriously interfering with my sleep.
Luckily we caught a shuttle driver with some time to spare at Rte. 603 (Thank you, Bunny!) and rode into Marion, where we rented a car and drove home to Dayton, Ohio. I plan to see a doctor tomorrow as Buttermeister (aka Chris) returns to the AT.
All is not lost! Hopefully my injury is mild enough that rest and physical therapy will allow me to return to the trail within a week to 10 days. In the meantime, I’m looking to trade out my winter gear and lighten my load as well as catch up on bills and other essential elements of modern life.
Still, a little voice in the back of my head reminds me that my 66th birthday is coming up and this old body doesn’t heal as fast as it did when I was in my twenties.
Will love be enough to get me back on the trail to rejoin my sweetie and summit Katahdin?
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