Hiked about 17.5 miles day from Damascus, VA to a campsite about a mile past Lost Mountain Shelter.
Had breakfast in Damascus and then happily hit the trail again. Today, I hiked with the new shoes I picked up in town, which are the same I have been using so far (Oboz Sawtooth size 14). After today or tomorrow they should be broken in. My right foot heel has been rubbing the entire trip. I keep leukotape on it to keep if from getting out of control. I have always had foot issues hiking, just glad it’s not too bad this trip.
The water in the creeks was really down today, but still above normal flow. With two days of heavy rain, some creeks on the trail are normally a ankle deep, but are now knee deep. Yesterday, they were waist deep. Came across a knee deep creek I had to cross today, so I rolled up my pants, took my shoes and socks off and waded through the cold water in sandals. Dried the feet off and put things back on.
Much of today’s hike was in the woods and along a swollen whitewater river. The snow that had fallen over the past day melted as the sun rose. It was perfect hiking weather. There were some strong winds today, but they seem to have died down for the time being.
After getting to camp, a few of us had some laughs over jokes while setting up camp and making dinner. I also wish I was a better backpacking cook than I am. I do ok with what is available though.
The dusk is rapidly approaching as I write this. I am sitting on my air mattress in my tent having a little private dance party…seriously. I am listening to the song “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and dancing (to other songs too). It so speaks to me so deeply and where I am at in life right now and before this trip. Look it up on YouTube and close your eyes and listen. It is an upbeat song about lifes journey.
On this journey, it takes so much physical and mental energy. There is no energy left thankfully to keep those fences up, that most of us have up when in society. You let people really see who you are out here and others do the same. It is a wonderful thing…I am also afforded the opportunity to look at myself. My successes and imperfections, the whole self. I accept it all, as part of my life story. If there are things I want to change, I have the time and space here to evaluate that and act as appropriate. The AT is truly an amazing place and journey.