Day 7: Nero in Hiawassee

So here I am in beautiful Hiawassee. I came in entirely on impulse. As I was lying in my tent this morning (it was frigid), I pulled out my trail guide to see how far I wanted to go today. The elevation profile showed two monster mountains—Tray Mountain is 4500 feet in elevation (with a shelter on top, and dear gods I am SO not staying there). I was filled with ‘ugh,’ when I saw that the Budget Inn also shuttles from Unicoi Gap, just a mile from where I was tenting. The problem was that it was already past 7, and the shuttle was coming at 9. I flew, packing up my stuff in random order, then dashed down the mountain. Fastest downhill yet, I think! Although who puts uphills in the middle of their downhills? The AT, that’s who!

It all worked out. I’m going to take a full zero day tomorrow (that’s a day with no mileage; a nero is a day with low mileage). I wasn’t planning on zeroes this early, and truth be told I feel pretty good. But you know? I’m 52 years old with a few pounds to lose, coming right off the couch. I decided to give my body a day just to make sure there aren’t any injuries I’ve been ignoring. I need a gear regroup, too, plus all the usual nero things—food, laundry, showers.

So today I’ll sew my rain pants. Tomorrow Is all about resupplying and tweaking the way things are arranged. I’ll be back on the trail Friday morning to tackle those two mountains.

Speaking of injuries, I only have one and I wasn’t expecting it: chafing! My inseam areas from groin to knee look like hamburger. That didn’t happen on any of my training hikes! I think it’s from the seams of my pants. Anyway, If I were starting tomorrow I’d add some sort of lotion or lubricant to my first aid kit. The White Blaze people recommend Body Glide. I got some lotion at the drug store, and I’ll take that with me.

Does anybody know a trick for reducing typos while typing on a phone?




Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Day 7: Nero in Hiawassee

  1. Red

    Great choice to give your body a break. Very smart planning. Enjoy long hot showers.

    • Funny you should say that! I was just thinking about taking another one!

      Also? My body has apparently turned to stone. Jeez, am I stiff!

  2. Red

    Just an FYI – it does not appear most of my posts are getting through. 😦

    • I think they should be showing up now. To catch the spammers, I set it so that the first post from a new commenter has to be moderated, then all other posts should go through automatically. Let me know if you’re still not seeing them. I probably did something dumb!

  3. Red

    Nah more likely I am forgetting to press “post”. I cannot tell you how many times I have done just that, sigh…

  4. Red

    One of the things I can you is some good anti-chafing gel.

    • Do you know a brand? I thought might need something come summer, but it surprised me in the winter. It’s been super windy, though.

  5. Nancy Drew

    I couldn’t tell if my comment went through or not…stupid WordPress! I’m not logging in this time, hope it works. It looks like the comments are different now than when I tried to post before?? Weird.
    A) Don’t think I didn’t notice your Lemon hat back on your Day 3 or 4 post!!!
    B) Body Glide. It’s great stuff. But if you’re in a jam, BandAid makes a similar product – it’s in the first aid aisle. I saw it at CVS. Very small…like a stick deodorant but like 1/8 the size, in a tamper proof cardboard package, easily missed. If you can’t find that, go for Aquaphor in the lotion aisle. Skip all the other crap. Aquaphor has (I swear) mystical skin healing properties, and it’s very thick and protective. Chaffing is no joke, and if you get wet pants, it can turn to open sores in an hour. I’ve seen it happen…
    C) So glad to see you posting today! I assumed, rightly so, that you were out kicking ass, but it’s good to hear your progress and “see” you! Have a restful, healing night!

    • Nancy Drew, LOL! I did pick up some Aquaphor, so I’m glad to hear that was the one to go with!

      Darn right I brought my lemon hat! It even has the tiny lemon pirate pin on it, even though it’s a wasted gram. 😀

  6. Anne P

    Just good old autocorrect.

    Karen and I are enjoying your adventures.
    Rock on!

  7. beckyb13

    Hi Karma. I just wanted to let you know that I am following along on your adventure. I’m 55 and if not for muscular dystrophy, I’d be planning my own thru-hike. I do some short local hikes with a group called Trail Dames. It was started as a hiking group for women of a curvy nature but we get all sorts of gals who join us.. all sizes, all ages etc. One of our members will be doing a flip flop hike starting in April some time. We are all excited for her! About the chafing, I read a lot of trail journals and I have seen it mentioned that some folks get a pair of biker style snug fit shorts that come down to near the knees and put them under their hiking pants/shorts and this reduces the chafing quite a bit since they don’t slip and slide around. If you get tired of oooky thighs from the lubricant you might want to pick up a pair in a trail town.

    • Hi, Becky! Sounds like a great group you’ve got there. You’re an inspiring person!

      You know, I’m kicking myself because I had a pair of Underarmor shorts in my gear, and I jettisoned them at the last minute because of weight. I might take a look around today, because yeah, the lotion solution isn’t ideal.

  8. Irish

    Karma, you are doing a great job……taking time to replenish the soul is what life is all about….we are all watching and supporting you from the Bethel Backpacking Group….keep up the good work……and know we all don’t like the trudge but the view from the top is awesome!

  9. Donna

    Hi! Looking at your pictures, I don’t think you need your jacket on while in bed! Security blanket? Rest up & enjoy your road ahead. Miss ya.

    • Believe it or not, that jacket is my pajamas. Everybody wears their ‘puffy’ to bed! 😀

      • Donna

        Then puffy is good. We all missed you tonight. Theresa is back from IRE & brought soda bread. Keep warm and rest up!

      • Soda bread! Yum!

        I’m sending hugs to everybody!

  10. janetg96

    So happy to hear you took a break to regroup! I hope your hip is feeling better. Pflug found an AT map so we can follow you with using visual aids.

  11. Bike shorts prevent chafing and have the added advantage of wicking moisture away. Also super glue can be used to make a quick and permanent water tight seal on ripped rain gear etc. A little tube weighs nothing. Love your writing style. I think it’s the best this year along with Rash, Blues Man, Hufflepuff, Hobo and a couple of others. The pathos of the journal entries make you all seem like such close friends in spite of the fact that we’ve never met. Hike on and good luck.

    • Thanks for the encouragement and the tops! I did get some underarmours that helped with the chafing, but it seems to have resolved with the wamer weather. Hey, I know Hobo. Great hiker and a great guy! I hope our paths cross again.

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