Unstealthing [mile 2095.5; SOBO 1077.1]
That place I stayed last night was a little wacky—packs outside (which I detest), and a late breakfast. In retrospect, I should have said no thanks on the breakfast, but it all turned out OK. I had to shuttle my gear down in piles and pack it up outside (20-something degrees!), and I ended up with a very late start. But there I was! What can you do? Sometimes you eat the trail, sometimes the trail eats you.
OK, mostly the trail eats you.
This was a cold day. Cold as in little piles of snow at the bases of the trees at 1:00 in the afternoon. Cold as in ice in curled leaves like little teacups. And tonight’s supposed to be frigid, but I’m already warm in my puffiness. Tonight I’ll give the mattress a few pumps right before lights-out. (The mat’s fine, by the way; I checked it overnight.)
On the way out of town this morning I stuck my head into the Appalachian Trail Conservancy regional headquarters just to say thank you to them. On the way out, I promptly tripped down the single step outside the door. D’oh! Short time! Everything feels jinx-worthy!
The first couple of miles were more flatlands and cornfields, which I love! But then the trail remembered it was supposed to be in the mountains, and the rest of the day was a series of hard ups and hard downs while the wind blew ferociously. I fell once—skidded on leaves on a downhill slope. It was all OK, though. Phew.
There were rock mazes today. On a warm summer day near the halfway point, those probably would have been fun. Today, in the cold, with my full boatload of food, I just looked at the rocks and said, “Really, trail? Rock mazes? Really?” They were still amusing, though; just a little bit of ruggedness.
The day was sunny, too, which was a blessing. At least it looked warm!
One milestone: The halfway point of the original trail. That was pretty cool!
And that’s that. I’m boring today. No cows, no Doylesque horror. Just rocks and snow and walking.
Tomorrow: Walking! (And, knock wood, my last hundred-mile milestone.)