Posts Tagged With: funniness

Best summit photo EVER

Best summit photo EVER.

Here’s the link to their 2008 journal. They did a super-fast hike, too: 112 days. “In the summer of 2008, my friend Adam and I Thru-Hiked the Appalachian Trail, starting in Georgia and ending in Maine. We hiked an average of just under 20 miles a day with backpacks that weighed up to 40 pounds! We took many breaks during the trip to relax, but when we hiked, we took it seriously. The average mileage that we hiked in a full day was more like the distance of a marathon, 26 miles. We finished our trek well ahead of our scheduled 127 days. It took us under 4 months, 112 days in total from Springer Mountain to Mount Katahdin!”

I’ve often thought about carrying something interesting, or planning something clever. Bomber carried a rubber chicken, right? But first I have to survive to Neels Gap. I don’t really think much past that.

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Biggest challenge

My biggest challenge at the moment: trying to remember not to eat while I’m going through my new AT Guide. Trying not to go through it, page by page, with my greasy potato-skin fingers.

Because if it smells like potato-and-bacon deliciousness, I’m going to have to bear bag it. (And if a bear gets hold of it, well… let’s just say I don’t want some random bear following me north and hitting all the same resupply points.)*

*Because bears can read, y’all. They learned it from the deer.

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Training march–20 miles

I did it! I did it! Twenty miles with thirty pounds.

I was wondering about the twenty miles, given that it took me five hours, or a few minutes under. But then I remembered that my regular walks are four miles and they take roughly an hour and a half, including stopping at traffic lights and a trip into the grocery store. Plus the one thing I’ve never been accused of is walking slowly. Once I get steaming, I roll along. And this is an easy walk, too. Paved roads and footpaths. Not much in the way of uphills, but it is what it is. And I’m OK with that. I remember back in my martial arts days: one of the greatest teachers I had the privilege of learning from said something along the lines of “The dojo is where you practice under bright lights on a soft floor with friends.” The Farm Park is bright lights on a soft floor with friends. At the very least, my back and shoulders know what it feels like to carry thirty pounds. My feet know what it feels like to march twenty miles.

I feel pretty good! A little stiff, for sure. I wish I could sit on something high and swing my feet, because those dogs are barking! The only thing that’s worrisome is the same old left knee issue. It really started to hurt at the end, and it hurts now. I didn’t have the brace with me, but I’ll wear it tomorrow.

Wait. Did I say tomorrow? Yes. Yes, I did! I think the only thing I can do right now is prepare my body to do long days in a row. Three times a week is fine, but for me, I want two of them to be back to back. I want to have a little soft-floor, bright-light training with complete lack of motivation—or worse, really not wanting to go out, and going out anyway. Going out without having had a full day of rest to recover.

As far as the walk itself went, it was pleasant. Saw some dead snakes, some dead caterpillars, and some smooshed mice. On the other hand, I had a long stare-down with a deer. I love the way deer stand in the woods and peer at you. They seem wise, somehow, and serene. In the moment. They’re gauging which way the wind is blowing from one instant to the next, prepared to move in whatever direction is called for. It’s very zen. Thank you, deer.

I saw a lot of people, mostly retirees getting in their miles, and a lot of people walking dogs. A lot of dogs. And some poop. But I digress. I saw one guy who was very chatty—a World War II vet who asked about my backpack and gave me a long rundown of most of the strategy for most of the battles in most of the theaters of the War. It was interesting, but the man himself was more so—more interesting, I mean. Here he is, clearly without people to talk to, clearly deeply interested in this massive experience that shaped his life.

Will that be me, someday? An old woman meandering through a park, pinning down a stranger and talking relentlessly about bear sightings and running out of water near Pearisburg? I hope so. Because when push comes to shove, the guy had to be 80. But there he was, still fit and strong, and wandering, and having those crisp bright memories (and opinions) to share.

When he stopped for a breather, I thanked him for his service, then I slipped away.




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Lawyers, guns, and money

Ohmygod, ohmygod, you guys! They said it would happen, but I didn’t think it would happen here.

When I told some folks last night that I’m planning a thru attempt, two of them asked me if I’m taking a gun.


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