I rarely look behind me when I hike. I’m hiking down a mountain and something inside me implores me: Turn around.
I spin around and see it:
My brain explodes.
I spent the last week hiking across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I learned the best thing for a hiker to hear upon arriving to a shelter in the howling rain is: “There’s always room for 1 more in the rain.”
Bless you for making space! That night, we crammed 17 hikers into a 12 person shelter… and even had an indoor fireplace and riddles. It was like a slumber party for smelly people.
Thanks to my fellow hikers!! For making space, for offering hot dogs, marshmallows, and for making fires on cold nights. And for offering me a McDonalds cheeseburger after a 15 mile day. I died from joy. You help me push on and will be what I remember 20 years from now. I might not remember the views, but will always remember watching a hiker trying for 20 minutes to saw through a log with a swiss-army knife (it didn’t work).
My body feels amazing for the torture inflicted on it so far. I even hiked a 21.8 miler on my 2 week trail-anniversivary. I was washing the mud off my legs a few days ago and was shocked at the size of my leg muscles. I am becoming stronger.
There have been rough moments too. At one point, I sat down in the middle of the trail and ate dry ramen noodles for a snack… And then started to eat the flavor packet.
This is my life now. I screwed something up somewhere.
Sorry for the short entry.. But I gotta run. It’s time to finish my resupply and organizing for the next stretch. And buy a bottle of wine for the hot tub tonight.
This is the house I’m in now. It has a hot tub in the back. I might never leave Hot Springs.
Hiking is for suckers.