I have just a quick overnight in town to do everything I need to do, so I apologize that this blog post will be abbreviated.
I started hiking from Amicalola Lodge. It was extremely cold. I was really glad I postponed my starting date by a day because the day before was worse.
I want this hike to be different than last. Last time I was really focused on getting from point A to point B, and hiking my own hike. HYOH is a ‘thing’ on the trail. The meaning is that you need to do things your own way– your own pace, your own timetable, your own way. I’m hoping to find a happy medium. Last time I took it a little too far and didn’t really connect with others. If you pray for me, I want prayer for this. Meeting new people is not easy for me.
So… I was happy when I was walking down the road on the first day and met up with another hiker. I actually met many people, but the first guy and I hiked for an hour or so. Finally,I reached Springer Mt. ‘One Foot’ was kind enough to take a picture of me by the Southern Terminus of the trail. We headed to the first shelter.
Many of you will be happy to know I haven’t skipped any meals. Most hikers lose their appetite in the beginning but I don’t want to lose weight too fast, so I’m forcing myself to eat. I ate lunch at the shelter with One Step and Phil. I didn’t want to push too hard, and debated whether to stay or press on to the next shelter, which was a couple of miles away. It was still early so I decided to push on.
When I got to the next shelter, I met a Lady with whom I really hit it off. It was a little shaky at first but I approached her and asked her if she wanted to go get water with me. I really liked her. I would have loved to have had her as a hiking partner but she had scoliosis as a child, has two rods in her back and is planning on taking it really slow, with the intention of flipping to Katahdin if she is running out of time. That is not an option for me. We hugged twice the next morning while saying goodbye. I really hope I see her again.
I spoke to a lot of people at supper that night. They were all impressed that I had hiked so far on my first attempt. I was kind of embarrassed. The attention made me uncomfortable and we all know that the reason I am hiking again is because I was not proud that I did not finish the last time.
Regardless, it helped earn me my trail name. This morning, a guy I have been leap-frogging on the trail popped his head out of his tent while I was packing mine up and said he had thought of a trail name for me: REBOUND. I love it! I’m still not used to hearing it. Several people have had to call me twice to get my attention.
One night I met a hearing impaired woman who was hiking alone. She was really young, too. She got my attention and was typing on her phone. When I read it, she was asking me where the campsite was. She was having trouble. We were writing notes back and forth. I asked her if she reads lips, but she said only a little. She lost her tent poles and thankfully, someone had picked them up and met her as she was looking for them. She wants me to watch her stuff while she went looking for them. That was interesting to meet and interact with her. I helped her as much as she would allow, and wrote a note asking if she needed anything before I went into my tent. You think is am strong hiking this trail ‘alone’…I can’t imagine what courage it must take to hike the trail alone while being deaf.
The hiking, itself, has been rough for me this time. I was not in near the physical shape I was last time I started the trail. I’ve been struggling, and I’m taking it slow and easy. I’ve also been having some knee pain. I’ve never had knee pain before. I can’t even tell exactly where the pain is coming from, but it’s not the knee cap. I think it’s a muscle behind my knee and in my upper thigh causing the area of my knee to hurt. I’ve been taking Ibuprofen and Curcumin and it has helped, so I don’t think anything is torn.
Also, my tent pole broke. This is the second time it has happened. Rather than wait several days for them to send new poles, i decided to buy a new tent. I got the Nemo Hornet. I had not heard of this before, but it’s similar in style to my old one. It is also 12 oz. lighter than my other tent, according to the person who helped me.
At Neel Gap I got a cabin with 3 other ladies and we split the cost. They are all really nice young ladies.
I’ve had to pack up a set tent once and hike in rain once. One day I had trail magic twice. One was the remnants of a party the night before…Beer, soda and snacks. I had my first soda. Later, a church had set up in the gap and was serving hotdogs, chips and sodas. Man, did that hit the spot. That was a rough hiking day, too.
If any of you have questions or anything you want to know about please ask in the comments.
The trail is beautiful and I’m happy to be back in the saddle again!