Day 84. I had hoped to upload last week’s and this week’s YouTube videos today, but the church hostel does not have WiFi available. I’ll hopefully get those up tomorrow instead, as I don’t like falling too far behind.
Today’s Zero day was exceptionally nice. I slept in late (on a very comfortable couch), I went to Walmart to get a few accompanying items to my resupply box, I took in a movie (Deadpool 2), I went out to lunch, and I read an entire Calvin and Hobbes comic book. It was a very relaxing day indeed.
I also planned out and reviewed the itinerary for NY with my dad. Since he has fresh legs, I will need to drop my mileage down to 8-12 a day, and wanted to make sure we had a workable plan that he was comfortable with. It looks very doable and we both are excited to get back on the trail together in a few days.
Emotionally, I am so glad he is coming when he is, as I could not use the company of my backpacking (and life) role model more than right now. What better way to turn my spirits around, then to go on an adventure with the guy who introduced me to it all? It’s a nice new phase of the hike. And speaking of phases, let’s recap…
- Phase 1 was tramily hiking througjou GA, TN, and NC. It was a highly social experience and provided tons of daily fun while in the “honeymoon” stage with dozens of others.
- Phase 2 was partner hiking in VA, where I hiked with another person for a few days, then another for a few, then another, etc. It was still exciting and fun, with tons of great sights and experiences with new and different friends every few days.
- Phase 3 was solo hiking in MD and PA. The first half was great, with all the historical sights to take in … but the second half was really tough. Horrible terrain, crappy weather, and being primarily alone every day was very difficult for a social butterfly like me. I would like to forget this phase altogether, as it puts a temporary dark blemish on my overall feelings of this experience.
- Phase 5 is family and friends in New England, starting this Friday with my dad. It will be great to have people to hike and camp with again, and is the spark I need to reignite my passion to be out here and finish strong. Let’s hope it lasts to Maine!
I hate that I am skipping the next 100 miles, as it throws off the natural progression of the trail northward, and puts a hole in my “thruhiker” status. It’s frustrating, but I know it is necessary in order to enjoy the next section fully. I thought about it a lot today and realize there is not much else I could have done, and that it will just have to be part of my journey and story. I’m ok with that, and won’t let it change my feelings or perception of this 2,190 mile hike. As I mentioned yesterday, I will finish those miles when I can, hopefully soon after, and fulfill that temporary void in my travels.
Tomorrow I head up to Westchester to spend time with family and do a thorough cleaning and drying of gear. It will be the first double zero I take while out here, and feels good to have it so (actually, it will be a triple Zero after Friday). Then the adventure continues. I’m not sure I’ll blog tomorrow, I may take the day off from that too.
Hello Neiman (Sharkbait)!
- Start Mile: 1294.7
- Start Time: 00:00
- End Mile: 1294.7
- End Time: 00:00
- Miles Hiked: 0.0
- Miles to Go: 896.2
- Lodging: Church of the Mountain Hiker Center