Day 41

I hiked 20 miles today to a stealth campsite in the woods. There are a lot of frogs vocalizing tonight as the sun goes down.

The hike was good today, after a few miles of going it, it leveled off to gentle rolls up and down.

About 10 miles or so into today’s hike, I see what looks to be as small forest fire, which I estimate to be 5 miles away.

I sit down in the dirt on a ridge to have some lunch (tortillas, Spam, cheese and peanut butter). In a very short period of time, the fire gets much larger, it was amazing.

So I call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to let them know and they had me report it to the National Park Service. I could see flames and it kept getting bigger.

Thick smoke filled the skies and blocked the views. Ash started drifting in a some helicopters showed up. I am not sure what happened.

A while later, I came across a monument to a hermit named Nick Grindstone. It reads, “He lived alone, he suffered alone and he died alone.” He lived here for about 40 years and would come down twice a year for supplies. I have not found much else out.

So all of this put me in the mood to share a little about me being out alone. I am not really alone, there are other hikers of course, but far less it seems than at the start.

Anyways, my girlfriend loves strawberry Poptarts, so I make sure to have one a day, as it helps me feel connected in some way. When I go to town, I get a cold Coke. My family grew up a Pepsi family, but my grandparents on my dads side always had Coke, so that helps me feel connected. My grandpa would get very sick eating ice cream, but I remember as a kid on vacation, he would have a ice cream with me, so I would not eat it alone and then he would go be sick alone. So I have ice cream when I get to town, as it helps me feel connected. I also found a flower out here that smells just like the perfume Grandma Pat wore, identical, it blew my mind. On the trail I do other things too, to feel connected to people and to try to stay grounded and focused. You just have to find those meaningful things in life and keep them close. Usually, only I know why I do certain things and I am good with that.

Another successful day is wrapping up on the AT. I hope you found success in your day and will in your future happenings.

9 thoughts on “Day 41

  1. Poptarts are the best way to start the day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice day on the trail, J. Twenty miles is a good day, and nice weather sure helps. It would be interesting to know what the story was with the fire, and if they got it under control in a ‘timely’ fashion. I hiked out in the Sierras once for about ten days and there were fires burning when we went in and they were still burning when we finished up… but they were ‘under control…’ whatever than means. They sure weren’t out!

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  3. First thing I do every morning is I check your blog. I’m not there hiking along side you, but your wise thoughts, descriptions, photos and shared experiences help me get through the day.

    Your blog certainly makes all your friends and family feel connected. Stay healthy, have fun and keep making and maintaining connections.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andy. Your one of the good guys in the world. I am pleased you enjoy reading the blog and that it might help ya get through the day. I know it helps me. Take care friend.

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  4. Keep to posts coming Jason. I too look forward to your updates each day.
    I remember traveling to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness during a heavy fire year. I remember having concerns about the danger of ongoing fires in the area. As long as we weren’t extremely close, I was told to “remember, fires move in miles per day. People move in miles per hour.” So it is possible to keep out of their way. Regardless, stay safe out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Got some minutes on the ship, so we just got got up on the days, we are so happy to hear and see you doing so well, but of course we knew you would. Also love reading all the support you are getting from friend and family. Your falling in the water did give a scare, glad to read it was a prank. Haven’t been able to check your weather like when we are at home, so hope it is improving for you.

    Love and miss you, but also so happy for you to live your dream

    Mom and Dad

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Have a great time.

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  6. Nice entry on what keeps you connected. Used to live in TN and VA. Keep posting Mr. J

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  7. What an interesting day you had. I loved the mural! Thanks for capturing that for those of us who will probably never see it. 🙂 And thanks for the sharing the story about how you stay connected to your loved ones. Really cool. Keep on trucking!

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