Miles from Springer Mountain: 373.8
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 1818.2
Body weight: 189.6
After a month on trail I’ve already lost 20 pounds! If I shaved my beard off it might be a few more ounces, but that won’t happen anytime soon.
After waking up freezing at the top of Bald Mountain I awoke early to get some heavy mileage in. Although it’s cold in the morning, I usually am only able to hike a mile or so before I’m too hot to walk in a jacket. It’s an easy excuse to take a break! I took a break at Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel before proceeding to Curley Maple Gap Shelter, it was a 21.1 mile day and my feet were hurting at the end.
Thankfully the next night was quite a bit warmer and the morning easier to march onward. During some trail magic at Sam’s Gap I met some Department of Veteran’s Affairs workers who were looking for homeless vets on the trail, I told them I am only temporarily homeless. I continued on 17.2 miles to a beautiful meadow that was perfect for camping. It was a much more relaxing day, I knew in the back of my mind that a restful weekend was ahead!
Haley set off for Roan Mountain, TN early and I only had to walk 8.1 miles to Hughes Gap for our much anticipated reunion. We booked a unique Airbnb that was “Indian” themed. Some delicious BBQ and quick resupply, our Airbnb didn’t have service or wifi so we spent the weekend off the grid! It was great to get off my feet and nurse them, I needed the break.
Saturday was my first Zero day on trail – I walked zero miles and my body was thankful for it. However, we couldn’t stay away from the trail and from 11-1 we did some trail magic of our own! Haley made some delicious puppy chow and cupcakes that we passed out to a few hikers. We met a few thru-hikers and section hikers, one of them, Recon, is finishing up his triple crown here on the AT. We made dinner – brats, mushrooms, and onions – and relaxed for the remainder of the day. It was peaceful and what we both needed. Haley brought me two of my all time favorite beers – Garfield Brewery’s Friday in the Park and Centerpoint Brewing’s Center Perk. That was the reminder of home I needed.
It was great to take a day off trail to let my body recoup and to relax with Haley, today I start back with a huge task right away – climbing Roan Mountain!