Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hike: Cold Spring Shelter

5/2/98--Cold Spring Shelter, 122.6

Cranky day. Started out depressed because of the gloomy weather and worried because of my misbehaving innards. I've consulted with D. (Howlin' Jed) who's had giardia, and that's not what this was. Probably just greasy town food catching up with me, but still not pleasant.

I dunno about the weather. It was cloudy, which up here can mean we're in the clouds (as it did today)--sounds romantic, but it's really just dreary. You spend all day in a haze, literally, low visibility even if your glasses don't fog. It cleared up in the afternoon, but my mood was pretty well set at that point. Worrying about making miles and my schedule, wondering if getting done on time means barreling through, and if that's the kind of hike I want to--or am willing to--hike. The compromise I came up with while walking was to skip Pennsylvania if it looks like I won't make it, and come back to do it in October. I just spent an hour or two with the data book and it may not come to that, or it may only come to skipping part of it, but it makes me feel better to have a plan B lined up.

Lots of crankiness going around, though. I think only N. and Cheerios avoided it. J. and D. had some friction over cooking dinner and A. reported feeling annoyed. I can only guess at what the family dynamic must be for them on the inside--even sharing shelters with them for this long, I have a basic emotional distance from it that they don't have, and even so I'm feeling ready to hike on my own (although I know I will miss them.) But I didn't come all the way out here to attach myself to a group, however like-minded and groovy. I'll be doing the Smokies without even Diva Dog--independence, here I come.

Met some flip-flopping southbounders today--southbound footsteps are so rare this time of year that I doubt I see even one a day. --MC

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