Day 42: Droppage

Jones Meadow [mile 295.6]

I managed a measley nine miles today. It’s days like this that remind me that I probably won’t make it as far as Maine. I hope nobody will be too disappointed if my big finish is in Connecticut instead of on Katahdin.

I didn’t sleep well and woke up late. Pear-shaped! I’m finding that the days don’t generally recover from that. I spent an hour or so and much of my phone battery trying to set up a mail drop for Damascus. (Thanks, brother!) I still haven’t figured out where to send to. I have more immediate issues.

This phone! A full battery yesterday down to 50% right now. That means once again I have to save up a chunk of updates until I can find a charge. This is frustrating. It’s also a concern, for safety reasons. Somebody out here says he has a ‘New Trent’ charger that weighs 4 ounces and is giving him 3.5 charges. Anybody ever hear of that? I can’t research until Damascus, but that would go a long way toward alleviating the problem.

The day was HOT. It also involved a surprise 5-mile climb with no water. Hikers were visibly wilted, even the young studly ones. Me, though… I was utterly spent. I couldn’t make it to the next shelter, which is another 5 miles. So I called it a day at about 4 PM. Early night, early wakeup, and hopefully tomorrow will be better. I’d like to set an alarm, but again, phone battery issues.

Nothing really spectacular to report. Broiling sun through bare trees, and dead leaves underfoot. Bugs. I got chewed up yesterday, and the bites itch fiercely. Today I sprayed myself. Also, my sunburn blistered in the heat. Yesterday I took a nasty fall (into a hole I didn’t see) and bruised my calf. Today my legs got tangled in a branch with thorns, which scratched up the back of my knee. Yes, I’m slightly damaged at the moment.

There are three shelters in this area that are basically plague houses. There’s a norovirus epidemic among the hikers, and those three shelters have puke (and/or worse) in them. I passed the first of those today. Trail maintainer “the Cleaner” was taking care of business: basically hosing down the shelter with bleach, and so on. Thank you, Cleaner! Thank you to ALL the trail maintainers. They make stairs and clear deadfall and pick trash out of the privies…a hundred and one thankless jobs, just for the love of the trail. Without them it wouldn’t exist. Talk about service!

And that’s all I’ve got. I’m all wrapped up in the next dilemma, which is how I’m going to resupply in Erwin without spending more money I don’t have on a motel. Not to mention taking more time that I don’t have.

Oh, don’t listen to me. I’ll be fine tomorrow. 😉

(No photos today. Battery.)
(Or maybe just one.)

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Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “Day 42: Droppage

  1. I have a Ray-O-Vac battery that plugs directly into an iPhone and recharges through a USB cord. You can use the phone immediately. The charge holds for six months. The batt cost nearly nothing. I bought it at REI. I’ll send you one if you’d like.

  2. Hey anyone that says they are disappointed with your hike should go mind their own business or better yet go on their own hike. They cannot have your hike, it is taken, just sayin… That and I think you are doing fantastic and as you know mine is the only opinion that matters, LOL! Hope all your bumps, bruises and scrapes heal up quickly.

  3. Hang in there. You are doing great!

  4. Incredible! You are the essence of the Trail. Moving one Trail day at a time is so inspiring! Your posts make me want to head to those trail towns. The pictures are beautiful. The universe has provided you with some amazing beauty, and you are a part of it! Be well, my friend.

  5. I am reading every single word you post and looking at all your pictures. I could never be disappointed in you. You have me permanently convinced of your amazingosity. Each day is different, and you will have ones that sail as much as you felt literally and metaphorically anchored today.

  6. You are my inspiration for my hike next year. I am so glad I found your blog. Wishing you the very best.
    Ed

  7. Dale

    Karma, one step at a time will get you there. Keep you head high your living a dream most will never have

  8. jack

    Don’t get flustered,your doing just great.Take care of yourself&don’t get down.There are more great days ahead.

  9. I can barely keep up with you and I’m not even doing the AT! 🙂

    If you don’t make it to Maine, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re on this journey and you are the only one who will know when and where you reach the end.

    That said, it looks like I’ll probably be in Philly at the end of JUNE!!! Doh!

  10. Donna

    DISAPPOINT…we think not! I’m feeling sorry for myself with a stomach bug and look what you are doing. You probably overslept because you needed to. Relax,enjoy, and I look forward to reading your posts whenever you are able to enrich our lives with the journey. Big Hug!

  11. Disappointed? Hell to the no! Good tip about the battery from jimfetig. Also, close any apps, turn off your wireless when you’re traveling. You prolly know all this. happy trails.

  12. The heat was a killer for a few days there! I was going through way more water than I did in colder weather.

    I’ve also been frustrated trying to keep my iPhone 5 charged. Let me know if the Trent works for you.

    I’m halfway through the Smokies. Still low miles but having a blast!

    • Bunny! Hi! My phone died two days ago. Somebody’s sending me a New Trent charger to Damascus. I’ll let you know how it works out. Kill those Smokies!

  13. Lisa milstead

    You probably already know this, but…Put the phone on airplane mode, while you are hiking. Turns off 4g and wifi, so it’s not continually searching for signal, which drains the battery horribly.

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