Half day

Mile 494—Stealth camp
Sunday, April 28

Weelll… best laid plans, right?

It was raining, windy, and cold when my alarm went off at 4:30. The rain was what did it, though. I just could not—could not—face packing up in the rain again, and carrying that wet heavy mess. So I slept until about 6:30, when it was just getting light. The rain stopped, but the fly was still pretty wet. I got on trail at about 7:45—appallingly late for me.

I just couldn’t get into gear. I may have some allergies or the start of a little cold. The 5-mile climb to Mt Rogers took FOREVER. By 1 pm, I’d only managed 6 miles.

This was complicated by the fact that just up ahead are a bear activity zone, a no-tenting stretch, a remediation area (no camping), and ponies. I couldn’t wrap the spitballing part of my brain around any plan that covered all those bases. If I could do another 12, I’d be out of the no-tenting zone, but I’d have to run, I’d miss the ponies, and I was hiking really really badly. Like… I’d be hiking into the night. And I felt too ungreat for that.

Plus the wind up toward Mt Rogers was terrible again. Like, making me stumble. And a southbounder said the wind up at the next shelter was just awful—like, blow you off your feet awful. I think I have post-Hump PTSD about the wind.

And guess who passed me today? That crew. The big one. So they’d be somewhere, like a landmine of camping rudeness.

Then I jumped off trail to poop and found this stealth site. It’s sheltered from the wind. And I thought, yeah. Yeah. Take the 6, hunker and sleep, feel better, and tomorrow blast through the whole bear zone and the no-tenting areas. See the ponies in the morning, like 8 or 9 am.

So here we are. 😀

Author: Karma AT2019

Karma. On the AT.

6 thoughts on “Half day”

  1. Hey Karm. Good decision I say. Opting for a little less so you can enjoy the ponies. Avoiding that wacky bubble, PRICELESS.. Man, I forgot how tough the weather is during the first part of your hike. I wonder. Is it easier mentally the second time around or are the crazy thoughts just different? You are doing GREAT. I’m coming back to VA on Wednesday. Daleville. I’m working on the piece I skipped over, when I went to MacAfee. I’ll head north from Daleville. I have 97 miles to do. I still don’t have the logistics worked out. This will be another trial trip. My tests said surgery. I just have to decide which one. I’m thinking about you all the time friend. I will see you before too long. John P is working his way through southern PA. He’s into it! Stay vertical my friend. 😊


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