Day 48: Plenty of time

Erwin’s a normal little town. The mountains aren’t huge and the town sprawls—clusters of buildings strung on ropes of gray highway. There’s a train, an old-fashioned freight train that reminds me of my childhood Christmas platform.

Back when Aquaman gave me that trail magic ride to the store, he said there was a local bald that was just as beautiful as Max Patch. Big Bald. Well, I climbed it the other day, and Sir, you are no Max Patch! One reason was that from Big Bald, every vista was corrupted by webs of roadways and machinery scars and tumbled houses and something that looked like a golf course. All of that was Erwin.

There’s not much to say about Erwin. LOL. I think I’ve reached the end of my poetry.

They do have an excellent grocery store.

I’m doing my least favorite thing: Repackaging food. I HATE dealing with the food. If I could get rid of one aspect of hiking, it would be the whole food thing. But that goes for home, too.

I sent my stove home. I’m not cooking, and the bulk and weight are too much. I’ve lost a lot of weight. The pack weight has to come down, too.

I’ll be heading out with six days of food. I’ll have to top off in Hampton, but the next major stop will be Damascus.

A lot of people quit in Damascus, apparently; it’s a psychological milestone.

Smowman, who hiked before, said we’re still just fine for getting to Maine on time.

OK, I got nothin’. Some days just don’t warrant that many words. Which is just what a zero is all about. πŸ™‚

I’m planning to eat breakfast at 6:30 tomorrow, then hoof it back to the trail by 7. Get there by 8, and back on track.

By the way, is the size of the photos OK? I can go a size larger.

OK, back to communing with my gear!




Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Day 48: Plenty of time

  1. Tracy S.

    Karma, I am enjoying your posts so much. Hopefully you remember me from your last day in the Smokies…. I’m the math teacher weekend backpacker who shared some chocolate Easter candy with you at the shelter. It’s been delightful following your journey. How I wish I could just leave everything behind and hike the AT too. But at least you’re painting a beautiful picture for all of the readers at home. I hope you’re very proud of yourself. Keep up the good work, and keep pushing forward!


    P.S. Say hello to the Postman for me, and sing him a few verses of the ROCKY TOP song!

    P.P.S. You keep mentioning that you’ll pick up mail in Damascus—would you like to give your followers a little hint what that mailing address might be?! πŸ™‚

    • Of course I rememember you, Tracy! That was a great night in the Smokies. In fact, I was thinking about you this morning in the grocery store while I was looking (unsuccessfully) for chicken packs. ‘Smells like it simmered for hours instead of just minutes’!

      I’m getting a drop box at the Mt. Rogers Outfitters, but it’s not really like getting mail, unfortunately. They’ll hold boxes for thru-hikers, but not envelopes or that sort of thing. Something small would just get lost.

      You should do a section hike this summer! The weather will be warmer then!

  2. Anne P

    Jesus, Karma, clean up that mess! πŸ™‚ Isn’t Damascus where the hiking gets easier? I remember reading something about Virginia and picking up speed. Or am I in my usual state of confusion?

    • No, you’re right! They say (and Snowman confirmed this morning) that after Damascus, there are ups and downs (and two peaks) but nothing like the massive, hours and hours of climbing we’ve had until now. Supposedly there are two more tough legs, then Damascus. I can’t wait. =D

  3. Size of photos are fine. I can easily enlarge them on my iPhone or MacBook when viewing them ..

    Javelin 13

  4. Go for bigger pictures. What’s the point of following along if we can barely see your pictures. πŸ™‚

  5. Loon

    Sounds like you’re having a good zero. The food is a bit of a bother, but can also be part of the fun, but hey, to each their own. As for the pictures, this old woman wouldn’t mind if they were a bit larger.

  6. Blackbird

    Size doesn’t matter!

    Today is April 22.
    Baxter closes to overnight camping on Oct. 15.
    That’s 177 days from today, which is 25 weeks.
    One zero day per week equals 177 minus 25 days, which is 152 hiking days before Baxter closes.

    152 divided by (remaining miles to K) 1,844.4 equals 12.13 miles per day as the absolute minimum daily average mileage required to get the Baxter before it closes.

    That’s pretty doable, as that’s well inside the universal thru hiker average mileage of 12 per day.
    Everything up to now has been prologue. After Erwin, things change. Embrace your dislikes and own them and don’t let them eat at you, become comfortable with discomfort. Embrace the suck. Walk in the rain.

    All that said, the Baxter will still be hikable after Oct. 15, you just might have to commute there from Millinocket, so no worries. In any case, after that date there are no weather guarantees (as if there ever were!). There’s a reason they close it on that date …

    You’ve endured one of the hardest spring winter weather thru hiker starts I’ve seen since perhaps 2004 and you’re doing smashingly so far, really.

    GAME on!

    • Thank you! That’s inspiring!

      I think I hit two milestones. One, I sent that freaking stove home. Two, I conceded that I have to fuel up. It’s all about the walking, baby! Oh, and Insent home my last actual luxury—inflatable pillow. Trying to get the pack size down and down and down. I reworked my pack setup.

      Bring it on!! Can’t wait to get to Damascus!


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