Rate x Time = Distance, Except on the AT
Felt like a hero having just finished the Smokies with a great crew of hikers. Rolled down into Hot Springs on empty… 18-mile day, food mostly gone, and legs toast. With a lighter pack and so excited to see my sister, I was skipping (OK more like happy hobbling) into town. The next two days were heaven. She got an Airbnb with a hot tub, brought great food, resupply, and new gear, listened to all the trail stories, and met some tramily. The best part though was just hugging and talking.
Taking two zeros (no trail miles) was much needed. My sister is a next-level caregiver, anticipates your needs, and quietly fulfills them. She was my own personal trail angel. It is hard to describe the weirdness of a month of trail life, a lot of alone in your head hiking time, with people who only know the trail you, then into the “real world”.
With two full days off from hiking, I was amazed at how busy I still felt. Decisions to be made on what to pack and what to send back. Easy one was to switch my big bear canister for the single-person size. That created a new packing strategy. Wait, where are my trekking poles? Seriously did I lose something else?? Quick memory check and conclude I left them at the restaurant where my sis picked me up. A call confirmed they had them and they close soon. Super sis to the rescue jumped in the car and got them for me!
I have been averaging two mph on the trail, including food, bathroom, and view breaks (often all same time). My time with my sister was healing of body, mind, and soul. AT formula: zero mph x #days = miles of smiles.
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