I had this grand plan of taking notes almost every evening about our day, adding in a couple photos, then editing & posting when we got to wi-fi. I’ve mostly done that. However, when we got to the town we’re in now, and I went to charge the camera (and download the pics), my lovely partner realized that he sent the cord home. So. Awesome. I’m so glad we bought a new camera just for this and he sent the lifeline home. The good news is I still have 8min of battery left. He wants me to buy a new cord and I refuse. We have the camera still and our 2 cell phones. I’ll make do.
Otherwise things are going fine. Some days are hard. Really hard. Like yesterday: 16miles and 3.5 mountain climbs. I say “3.5” because the map/guide named 4 mountains but we barely noticed the 4th, so it’s 3.5. Again, hard.
Then there was the day we took to come into this town: 2 miles. We planned it that way, so we wouldn’t arrive in late afternoon with little time to do our errands (grocery, laundry, EAT, sleep), so we stayed the night in the woods then arrived at 9am the next morning. BRILLIANT plan. A fellow hiker on the trail taught us that after our first night at a hostel we arrived at 3p, then couldn’t leave until 11am the next day before we got our resupply done.
The good: The views. Gorgeous. They’re mostly the same when we get to each peak, but they are no less impressive. Now, a week in, they are getting even better as the mountains are more dense. (read: more and more climbing)
The people: There are some fascinating people on the trail. Full-time volunteers, retirees, college students taking time off to hike the whole thing, drifters. Some very, very weird, and some really cool. All of them very nice.
Our original “big” goal was to make it to Damascus, VA. That’s 460miles. I don’t think that is going to happen. We could do it, but that would put us very close to mid-Aug (I think) and we have to be home before then. So, we are still on track to make it to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which was our minimum. We haven’t decided if we’re stopping at the south end, the middle (Gatlinburg), or the top, but that will depend on what day we get there, how we feel, and how insanely crowded the park is.
The best part of all this? I lose track of what day it is. It doesn’t matter! We go by our miles per day and how many days it will take us to get to our next destination. I can’t remember not having any stress like this. It’s so liberating! I now know why people take 6 months to leave the real world and your only ‘job’ is to hike every day. What a way to live.