Day 200: What do you mean, 200?

Salisbury, Connecticut

What the hell? Two-hundred days? Two-hundred days of crapping in the woods, and tick checking, and Clif Bar eating, and night freezing and mosquito swatting and mosquito bite scratching and… and… and… 200 days?

Dear gods. That’s a lot of days.

How many Clif Bars is that? Hundreds. I can’t stand them now. I’m switching back to actual food (sort of) for the next couple of days.

So! The lights are out in Salisbury! I’m at Vanessa Breton’s place, and there’s a power failure. I’m the only one with a headlamp. (I think I’m the only guest.) This is a wacky night.

But the day! I woke up early in the pouring rain. The tent held up well, but I knew I had another one of those abysmal slippery-wet rockslides to climb, and I decided a smart person wouldn’t make a bad situation worse by doing it in the dark. So I granted myself an extra half-hour of sleep. Well… not sleep, so much as lying like a corpse and wondering if rain was getting on my quilt.

It wasn’t.

The morning was chill and foggy—a pea souper. Up on Bear Mountain (how many Bear Mountains are there, anyway?), I couldn’t see a thing—just a dozen yards into the mist, and the next white blaze.

Coming down was much easier than yesterday, practically an actual walk in the woods. But it rained. And rained. And rained. My shoes were sodden, my socks were sodden, my mood was sodden. It looked in the book like it should be all downhill, but it wasn’t; every once in a while the trail would throw a wet, leafy slab into the mix, just to keep my adrenaline pumping.

I have a new injury. My ankle rolled hard, I stabbed down with the pole for balance, and somehow, by some mysterious quirk of physics that I can’t reconstruct, I managed to smash my pinky directly into the pole, which jammed the top joint hard.

Ohmygods, was that painful. Given that I have a very messed up finger from an old jam, I was also paranoid. I wiggled it for fifteen minutes just to make sure it remembered how to move in all the right directions. It’s fine, but very sore, and I can’t hold a pole with it.

Yeah. Today? Not good.

When I got to town, I had to decide which of the two… erm… boarding houses to call. They’re not really hostels; just two women who take hikers into their homes. I ended up at Vanessa Breton’s, and I’m so glad I did. Vanessa’s a hoot, very laid back (and a hiker), and she has the best doggies! πŸ™‚

So I’m clean, fed, laundered, and resupplied. No power! I want to go through my stuff. I can lose a pound and a half, I think—and I think I really need to, given the way the shelters are spaced in New York. (I’m going to have to try for some long days.)

Time to send home the camp shoes (Tevas, at the moment; Crocs were great at the beginning, but I wanted something sturdier for those abysmal stream crossings in Maine). They were best in town (wore them tonight, in fact), but I won’t be in that many more towns. I’ll have to suck it up and wear wet shoes to do laundry. The Tevas are heavy—maybe 11 ounces. Plus they make my pack ride badly no matter where I stow them.

I can send home my summer sleep stuff: boxers and a tee shirt. That’s probably 7 or 8 ounces. OK, maybe 6.

I’m debating stuff like the eyeglass repair kit and the half-ounce packet of Tecnu. Probably only an ounce between them, but an ounce is an ounce!

I finished my book last night. Lord of the Rings, for at least the thirtieth time. It’s such a trail kind of book! But I won’t replace it. Sacrifice time! I might get a little notebook to jot some of my own stuff in, but maybe not.

And that’s pretty much the day. Tomorrow I’ll be at the post office when they open at 8:30, and I’ll plan to be out of town and back on the trail by 9:15 or 9:30. I hate the late start, but at least it won’t be a zero.

I’m on a schedule! πŸ˜‰

By the way, I apologize if you got the updates twice. The WordPress app is still funky. It’s refusing to upload drafts in the correct order; instead, it just randomly plunks them in wherever it feels like it. I’ll figure a workaround before the next town. Which is Kent, by the way! Just a resupply and find a place to charge the phone (which is currently eating battery at the horrendous rate of 50% per day, despite my having taken all the measures I found online and that you sent me—and thank you for those!). I think my next town stay will be somewhere in the vicinity of Bear Mountain, New York, but I could be wrong.







Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Day 200: What do you mean, 200?

  1. New update to WordPress app today that purports to fix the draft issue.

  2. I updates this afternoon.

  3. Linda, I think a major thing for battery life on the iphone 5 is to use the auto lock. Be careful out there!

  4. Erma "Flame" Humphries

    Hi Karma, I’m still following your daily struggles and joys and beautiful photos as you post them on your blog. Congratulations (big time) on your awesome progress—200 days!!! I am so proud of you for pushing forward to meet your goal of thru-hiking the A.T. You are getting so close now!! You are almost home!! I stayed at Vanessa’s in Salisbury also; what a treasure Vanessa is for us hikers. I ran into Scribbles when I got to town that day and she and I shared a bedroom at Vanessa’s, and enjoyed hanging out on her back patio with Hot Sauce on a lazy kind of sunny afternoon. (It took me more than 200 days to complete my own thru-hike in 2011.) One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. You can do it. ~~Flame

  5. jim beauchamp

    No words, just admiration. Enviable attitude, great courage, memories to last a lifetime. Like everyone else, I look forward to each entry because it says you are safe and closer to completion.

  6. Marge

    It’s Karma, the little planner, and yet one day at a timer! You are having fun! You settled in a while ago, from reading your journal. Cannot wait for you to get home and re-read everything. You are such a good writer, my friend…..babboon-faced porqs or not!! You were mentioned at the RSL 8th annual! Love you.

  7. Sorry to read about your pinkie. Jammed digits are no fun 😦 . Was just looking at the map looks like you just have to get through this band of rain and you have a few days of sunshine! πŸ™‚ Keep on keeping on!

  8. shari wb

    Oh ya you bet we are going to mention our AT thru-hiker and how much she’s missed! πŸ™‚

    I love the changing leaves… more beauty to come.

    You can do this Karma – just a whole much of one day hikes! One day at a time. You can do ANYTHING for a day! πŸ™‚

  9. Sorry that my home state gave you such a hard time 😦 I hope it’s smooth trail for a while and that your finger gets better soon.

    • I think Connecticut is awesome! I want to come back. πŸ™‚

      It’s AUTUMN that’s really giving me heartburn!

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