Tuesday, September 25, 2007

5/15/98--Hot Springs, NC

(Note to all: These are transcribed trail journals I wrote by hand on a 1998 thru-hike. They were originally written for pre-blog era web publication, and were hand-transcribed at the time. Those archives are gone, so I'm reproducing them now. To catch up on the whole hike, click on the tag at the bottom and start from the beginning. --S.)

106.7 miles from Fontana Dam

What did I say about long days? 19.4 to make it here at around 7:15, which means I'm hiking at 2 mph again. My arch hasn't been hurting until mile 16 or so, but on the other hand I've had some vexing problems with my hipbelt, which has been making the surface of my upper right thigh go cold and half-numb. I'm not sure if it's circulation or nerves that have been squashed, or what the long-terrm effects might be. Hopefully, a day off will help.

The Trail was once again a charming place to be: sunny, friendly grades. Sunrise on Max Patch was the mirror image of sunset, and the descent took us through a long tunnel of rhododendron that seemed like something from a children's book. The day continued with beautiful streams, an historic shelter, a snake, a turtle, a toad (reptile and amphibian day on the Appalachian Trail). I hadn't planned to make it all the way to town, but when I got to the last shelter the final few miles seemed eminently doable and I am so happy I made that call. At some points I was almost running down the last descent, I was so glad to be coming in to town. There was a room still free at D. House, which was where I'd been hoping to stay (on Florida Tim's recommendation--thanks!) and it's a more healing place than I can hope to convey.

The evidence of love put into restoring this old farmhouse and tending its grounds is just enormous. The care that B. and F. have for what they're doing shows in the finish on the floors, the shampoo in the bathroom, the wildflowers on the mantle, the water carafe on the table, the spruce trees by the roadside. B's cooking is wonderful, reminding me of meals cooked by talented friends. I can understand why people have to tear themselves away.

Tomorrow an entire day with no pack on my back! Hooray!!

1 comment:

kathy a. said...

what a wonderful slice of an adventure!