Day 45

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.

8 thoughts on “Day 45

  1. It sounds as if you have become one with nature! Don’t you wish that could be every day that you live!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, J -the AT is an amazing journey/adventure, and it’s both a physical AND a mental exercise, no doubt about that! Have a good day on the trail!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike for the support. Maybe after I get to Maine, we could get dinner?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You mean back in MN? Sure!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jess, Chad, Dean and Ryan April 18, 2018 — 10:02 pm

    I cannot believe what great pictures your phone takes. You will have to give me some tips on mine when you get back. Sounds like the grand adventure is going great so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Uncle Jason, what a perfect song for you and the trip! I listened to it while reading and it made me a little sad. I hate to think you’re alone most nights exhausted and drained, but then if the trail was easy and always so loud that you couldn’t think (like life in the metro?), the point would be lost. I think you’ve started to find what you were looking for. I hope you can come back when it’s over and remember also that this is home here!

    on a lighter note, good thing you’re alone eating ramps and your peanut butter and ham sandwiches. hahaha hopefully you can find some black birch to chew on (it’s wintergreen under the bark on twigs) or maybe some tea berries leftover from last year that are edible. Otherwise… well. yeah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be sad for me. I am very happy out here and grateful for the time and space to reflect on life. I am grateful for my great family, and great friends in my life like you.


      1. Hey Jason, I suppose word doesn’t travel as fast out on the trail as it might at home, in case you had not heard that Avicii passed away on April 20th. I didn’t realize how much of his music I really enjoyed, including this song. It turns out that my friends daughter Caitlyn, the musician, has written songs with him! What a small world this is. I guess he died from a little too much abuse on his body years ago from alcohol. Hard to believe but very sad. He was only 28! Perhaps that song was an anthem for him as well as you and millions of other fans.


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