Hikers watch a marriage proposal
Pinhoti Trail Day 21 & 22
Miles Hiked: 23
Day 21: zero day
This morning I woke up in my hotel room in Rome, GA. It was a rainy day and it felt wonderful to wake up indoors, listening to the sound of rain outside. I already did all of my chores yesterday so all I have to do today is relax and enjoy! What a nice feeling.
When I finally did get up I headed down to continental breakfast. Mule and 5 Pounds arrived shortly after and we all sat and ate together. Then after eating I headed back to the room to do some necessary things I’d been putting off. On top of hiking nearly every day and blogging, I also do daily journaling by hand. I have been daily journaling every day for close to 900 days consecutively. That’s over 2 years. Last year on the PCT I journaled by hand every single day. Now I have the goal to keep that up on my Bama to Baxter thru hike.
After writing for a long while I wound up filling up an entire small journal. Generally I carry multiple small journals at a time so that I can fill them up and mail them home more frequently to keep my pack light. After I did that I decided to officially sign the paperwork and sign up to be a Trek blogger! It was such an exciting feeling. I already love writing about my experiences so to be able to share them on a wider platform was really a dream come true. I signed up, made my account, set up my profile, and then posted my first introductory post. It was a really good feeling. I’m so looking forward to seeing how this grows over the course of my thru hike.
Once I got some of those necessary things done I headed to a fast food place that was conveniently located right next to the hotel, Steak and Shake. A personal favorite. When we arrived yesterday I was psyched to see that it was literally right next door to our hotel. I got a frisco melt and cheese fries to go and went back to the room to comfortably eat in bed. There I did more blogging and journaling as well as made some phone calls to family. I got my pack situated and ready to head out tomorrow also.
Then later on in the evening the whole gang headed out for dinner together. 5 Pounds and I met up first and walked over to a Thai food place. Then Mule and Nails met up with us after. They had been over at the brewery having a couple beers. The food was delicious and the portions were huge. I got a Thai iced tea and potstickers to start. Then I got a behemoth portion of fried rice for the entree. There will certainly be some leftover to pack out tomorrow.
After we ate we all headed back to the hotel. On the walk back I got a new water bottle and a couple of last minute snacks. Then I went back to the room and lounged for the rest of the night. It’s truly such a luxury to lay in a bed and watch TV.
Day 22: 23 miles
This morning I got up pretty early and packed up my things. Then I headed down to the breakfast buffet to stuff my face. Mule and 5 Pounds had the same idea and we sat down there together for a little while. Then we retreated to our rooms to relax until our ride came around 7:30am.
Jinx and his dad came and picked us up which was so nice of them. Then we all headed back to the trailhead together. Once we got dropped off we were back to walking real quick. I felt a bit tired but otherwise really good. There was a brief road walk to start and Jinx, Nails, and I all walked together and talked. It was a really nice morning. A few miles in we had to take our shoes off to ford a creek which fortunately hadn’t risen too much from yesterday’s rain. Then we continued walking for another couple miles before we all took our first break of the day.
When we took our break I ate the last of my fried rice from yesterday. And Nails surprised all of us with delicious peanut butter cookies that he’d packed out to share. What a guy! It was a pretty cold morning so we didn’t sit for too long before continuing on.
The trail today was some of the most beautiful yet in Georgia! There were some incredible over looks and generally nice views all morning. And to top it off, we witnessed a marriage proposal! Upon arriving at an overlook by a parking area there was a girl blindfolded and her friends were frantically assembling a picnic complete with rose petals. Then her boyfriend walked her out and when she took the blindfold off he was down on one knee. It was such an amazing sight. I’d never witnessed a marriage proposal before. We all clapped and cheered for them. There was such amazing energy in the air all day it seemed.
After that the trail went by a waterfall! And we took a quick blue spur to go down to it. I stood underneath and felt the water splash on me. I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I am to be out here living this incredible life. While we were walking down the trail shortly after that we passed the most adorable wiener dog in a little yellow sweater. The owner lifted her up and the dog gave me kisses on my nose. She was a sweetheart.
We took our next break around 1pm at a picnic area. It was such a nice place to stop and hangout. Then we all continued along. We have a 23 mile day planned and had a later start than usual, so we wanted to keep it rolling.
The rest of the day the trail continued to be beautiful. We passed by ponds and streams. I was really enjoying myself. And a handful of miles later we got it another parking area and no one could resist using the clean pit toilets. I took a break there as well and realized that I hadn’t really eaten much all day. My energy had felt great but I hadn’t been very hungry. So I ate a couple candy bars and drank some water before continuing on. Not long after that I began to feel off. My stomach was cramping and felt uncomfortable. I began to feel really nauseous. And sadly this would persist for the rest of the day. We were only about 5 miles from our campsite for the night, but it felt like some of the longest 5 miles that I’d ever walked.
I had to periodically stop to rest and try to force myself to eat. But I had absolutely zero appetite. My stomach was a wreck and I had really low energy. Even shorter climbs felt so tough. How did this just happen out of nowhere? I’ve dealt with nausea issues in the past and I just figured that I hadn’t eaten enough all day and that by the time I did eat my stomach was already too upset to settle.
Eventually I got to camp and everyone was surprised that I’d taken so long. After I told them what was going on I just laid on my Z-lite for a long time. There was no fuel left in my tank to even set up camp. At one point I took a Dramamine to try and help with nausea and another hiker generously shared a little pot with me thinking it may help settle my stomach.
I was able to set up my camp and lay down which felt good. And over time my nausea went away almost entirely. My appetite however was still non existent. I had to force feed myself some dinner and didn’t wind up eating much. And not long after that I was finally able to get comfortable and decided to just call it a night. I was really hoping that I’d just wake up feeling much better tomorrow.
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