Well, our last zero day in Hiawassee was fun. You could easily spot a thru hiker because most of us were participating in at least one of the deadly sins-gluttony. The locals have been great! Almost too great to the point strangers are telling me and Sean would make great looking kids. We were leaving town on April Fools day (my favorite holiday). The last morning before hitting the trail again we had breakfast at the Georgia Mountain Restaurant. The town is great at spotting not only hikers but pranksters because they asked if any of us could keep a straight face and play a prank on their boss. I was still able to participate in my favorite holiday in my home away from home by complaining to their boss about our waitress – per Jennifer’s (our waitress) request (let’s hear it for Shaye and Jennifer at Georgia Mountain Restaurant). Later that day I also tricked Sean by giving him what he thought was a Ferrero Rocher chocolate but indeed a dehydrated Brussel sprout.
At this point we are going by the names of Musicbox, Snorlax and Skye Stalker (but she seems to have many more trail names). We are doing about 10-12 mile days. We have learned that is age is nothing but a number out here, and when in the city we need to remember to look both ways. We have a hikers tan which is essentially tan lines from your sleeves and the straps from your trekking poles. Our feet are sore, but at least there are no more blisters. Snorlax’s knee is doing better and my thighs may actually be regaining some skin back (thank you body glide & to my sister for sending me some spandex shorts).
All of us have gained our hikers appetite and are craving nothing but burgers, cold beer and wet food (well just one of us for the later). We made it to North Carolina, and are over the 100 mile marker.
While things have gone pretty smooth, we still have our moments as well… Like waking up in the tent to your pup being sick. Or realizing you have another 3 miles to the next privy, and end up doing your business at the top of a hill, hanging off a branch. You find yourself some days doing pull ups in your tent because your sliding to the bottom of your tent from sleeping on a slope, and sometimes can’t sleep due to crying coyotes.
We have realized our idea of a hot breakfast is too time consuming and have resulted to things like pop tarts, and said goodbye to oatmeal. We will be switching our water filtering system to save on time, and have cut weight in our packs by tossing out random things like stuff sacks. I’ve learned to use utilize resources such as hotel sheets when it’s time to do laundry in town and have only dirty hiker clothes. I get excited when I see a trash on the trail so I can get rid of the extra weight while leaving no trace.
For the first time in about 4.5 years I think Skye Stalker is actually cleaner than us. I can’t tell if I’m really tan at times, or just really dirty. I’ve gotten so used to walking miles and miles daily that I feel like life can be a deja vu, with a beautiful view. I feel like we’re part of the cast of the Lord of the Rings. Would I change it? No. Life is whiteblaze, and I’m going to follow it all night (or day) long.