Thank god for trail legs and antibiotics

Pinhoti Trail Day 27 & 28

Miles Hiked: 43

Day 27: 23 miles

This morning I woke up feeling the best that I had in days. I still wasn’t nearly at 100% but it was a start. I packed up and finally left the Dalton, GA Days Inn! After 4 nights and 3 days of feeling sick and terrible.

Today’s trail is entirely road walking for about 23 miles, so at least there are lots of places to stop along the way if I don’t feel good. I began walking and felt pretty ok. My appetite is still non existent so that’s been my biggest struggle. It’s hard to force yourself to eat, but it’s also impossible to hike without fuel in your body.

Every 3-5 miles for the entire day I would pass by a dollar general or a gas station and get myself something to eat. I ate a whole lot of ice cream bars. That definitely helped to space out the day and encourage me to eat more.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was still able to push miles even right on the mend. As the day went on I felt slightly better too. My stomach was quite uneasy though.

At one of the dollar generals a woman stopped to ask me about my hike. She was very curious and kind. When she finished up shopping inside she came back out and handed me some money and told me to get some food with it along the way. And she scurried off before I could really even say anything. People are so ridiculously kind and generous out here.

A little girl saw the scene and must have assumed I was homeless, because a few minutes later her mom allowed her to come up to me and give me $2. I laughed and said that it was ok and that I wasn’t homeless. It was such a funny scene. I’m just a hiker sitting outside of a general store, I’m not homeless!

At one of my next stops an older man came to ask me what I was doing. He was so impressed that I was walking so much by myself. It blew his mind. And on his way out of the convenience store he passed me a snickers bar. What a guy.

A few miles later down the road walk he drove by me in his truck and handed me some packets of peanuts out the window. He was worried that I wasn’t eating enough out here. People like this continually restore my faith in humanity.

At my last convenience store stop of the day I grabbed a drink and was sitting outside. A stray dog walked up to me and then walked away and laid in a nearby patch of grass. I went inside and asked about the dog. It apparently had been left there 2 months ago and the guy built it a shelter to sleep under and gave it water. At least someone was looking after him. I bought a jar of Vienna sausages and fed the dog in the grass. It wouldn’t eat out of my hand but he’d come close enough.

By 5:30pm I had hiked 23 miles along the road and finally got back to a trailhead. I decided to call it a day and set up camp there. It was odd to be alone after hiking with my trail family for the last 3 weeks. But there was some peace in it as well. I feel so comfortable camping by myself. And that comfort only came with time and constantly stepping out of my comfort zone more and more. I’m so happy to be back on trail!

Day 28: 20 miles

This morning I woke up nice and early and I felt fantastic. I was feeling pretty much 100%! I woke up hungry! Which I hadn’t experienced in nearly 5 days. I ate and broke down camp. Then I got to walking. It was 20 miles to a bicycle hostel called Mulberry Gap, and I intended to stay there tonight to get out of the rain. Plus Mule and 5 Pounds were staying there too and I really wanted to see them again before the Pinhoti trail came to an end.

I felt like myself again. The hiking felt great even the uphill portions. I cruised along and took breaks every 4 or 5 miles. But I was surprised that I felt like I could have done even more without breaking. Where did this energy all magically come from?

The trail was really beautiful and I enjoyed walking a lot. The Pinhoti trail is coming to an end and you can really feel it. The terrain is changing. I’m entering into the mountains more and more each day. The trail is really starting to feel like the AT. It’s such a unique thing to walk every day and notice these seemingly drastic changes.

All day long I had a massive appetite which was wonderful. My body finally woke up and realized that this hiker hunger needs to be fed. I snacked all day long and was so excited to get to a store later tonight. I texted 5 Pounds to let her know that I’d be making it to Mulberry Gap today. And she got me signed up for the family style dinner later tonight! How amazing. My body wanted to feast so badly.

By 5pm I was walking the side trail to Mulberry Gap. Stoked for a nice cold drink and something to eat. Plus it’s going to rain tonight, so it would be great to stay dry if I can. When I was walking to the front office I saw Mule and he walked with me. I paid for a campsite and the dinner for tonight and then followed Mule back to him and 5 Pounds cabin.

They said I could cowboy camp on their porch to avoid the rain. Plus if it got really bad they said I could pull my stuff inside and sleep in there too. That was so nice of them. I felt so well taken care of! And it was so amazing to see the two of them again. This trail ends in 20 miles and I felt so grateful to be sending  it off with friends.

After I got situated I took a shower. Then we all got together for family style dinner at 6pm. Mulberry Gap is a bicycle/mountain bike hostel pretty much. There are cabins and a small store, or you can pitch a tent or car camp. This weekend is Wild Women’s Weekend so there were tons of female mountain bikers there enjoying the beautiful weather and great trails. The dinner was absolutely delicious and I cleaned my plate. It felt so good to be full! I truly feel like myself again.

Once we ate we all went back to the cabin and sat out by a fire. It was such an awesome way to end the day as well as this trail. Then I set up my camp on the porch for the night. The weather was perfect.

But around 3am I woke to it pouring rain. It was coming down hard. And even under the covered porch I was still getting wet. So I dragged my stuff into Mule and 5 Pounds room to stay dry. They had said they heard the rain coming down and almost came to get me to be sure I wasn’t sleeping through it. It was so nice of them to let me hide from the rain in their cabin. All my stuff was still dry and would be in the morning. That’s a good feeling.

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Comments 1

  • Michael : Mar 30th

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I wish you well take care of yourself and god bless.


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