Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
roarrr. y'all pray for swayze please. her pack is rubbing her and she's really tired. i gave her some pain meds tonight, but i'm out of duct tape and athletic tape just isn't cutting it. maybe i'll trade somebody a few feet of duct tape for a few snickers tomorrow.
happy easter, y'all. today was a gorgeous hiking day. it was hot and i got sunburned but i'll take sunshine over rain anyday. i'm exhausted, though. since swayze's having trouble with her pack, i let her slackpack (go without a pack) a few times on the uphills. i'm sure she loved it, but i weighed MY pack the other day at the hostel and it weighed 43 lbs. adding her pack to mine today probably put me in the neighborhood of 50. needless to say, i'll be knocking myself out with a hydrocodone here in a few minutes. i'm too tired to even eat tonight.
thank all y'all for any prayers y'all are sending our way. you know, it's absolutely amazing, but all of my prayers have been answered on this trip thus far. God rocks. :) in reverse order, i was really prayin' there'd be a trail angel in the parking lot when i came off a mountain today. a trail angel is anyone who helps a hiker out, whether it's food or shelter or a ride into town. swayze and i came down the mountain today and there was a couple sitting in a car. they rolled the windows down and asked if we needed a ride into town, but i don't really need a resupply just yet and i'm still kinda skeptical of hitching (even though just about everybody on the trail does it), so i told them i was fine, thanked them, then swayze and i sat down in the shade to have lunch. right as they were leaving, the lady called out to me and offered me some lemon cookies and half a root beer. yes, ma'am... i'll take that. swayze was a fan as well. :)
one of my absolute pet peeves is a sparsely-marked trail. yesterday we pretty much hiked alone all day, and when we got to the last four miles or so, the blazes became few and far between. i was tired and hungry and all i could think of was, "Lord, just show me a blaze. let me know i'm goin in the right direction." and sure enough, every time i'd ask, there would be a blaze soon after. also last night, i was praying that there'd either be a familiar face or no one at all at the shelter. when i got there, there were two people from our "group" and two new people. i breathed a huge sigh of relief. the same exact thing happened again tonight. when i got to the campsite, it was just me and a guy i haven't seen yet. i specifically asked for someone in our group to show up, and not half an hour later, i heard a familar voice.
there've also been two instances where it's poured down rain at night and i've laid there in my tent and said, "God, just please let it be gone by daylight," and it quits at sunrise. :)
so whatever y'all have been praying, keep doing it 'cause it's working. thank y'all so much. maybe we should start working on a big, fat, juicy hamburger with lettuce and tomato and pickles and ketchup with a really ginormous glass of sweet tea and some salt & vinegar chips. at this point, that'd basically be heaven on earth.
Friday, April 22, 2011
swayze and i are doing well! i had my first shower today since monday night. good thing, too, 'cause i pretty much smelled like death. a few of us put all our laundry together to make a full load so i've actually got clean clothes to boot! i wasn't real sure how to handle the whole town thing at first, what with swayze and all, but the people here at neels gap have been amazingly dog-friendly.
i can't do the hostel thing too often. it put me out $20 tonight. that'll really add up as i get closer to maine. i just stayed tonight 'cause we've had to deal with rain these last three days and it was actually really cold and windy today as we hiked over blood mountain. i feel so bad for swayze. :( i couldn't find her raincoat before i left for the trail and she hates being cold so i rigged her a raincoat out of the footprint of my tent. i'll have to find her something better, though, soon.
i haven't seen any bears yet, but some coyotes came way too close to our camp the other night.
the group i'm with is pretty awesome. :) they all seem to like swayze and til, a german guy who's section hiking, gave her like half of his bag of beef jerky the other day for lunch. vicky and rich have been extremely nice to me, giving me some of their filtered water and letting me use their cell phone. another guy who's hikin' with us, james, picked up swayze's collar that i'd accidentally dropped halfway up a mountain and didn't realize until we were at the top.
and in other news, i pooped in the woods for the first time ever.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
i will definitely miss everybody here. i sort of feel like i've just started really turning over new leaves in charleston as of recently. i think i can honestly say i will miss chucktown. the people more than the place, but it's the thought that counts, right? too bad i can't afford to live here. otherwise, i just might come back. maybe.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
and thennnnn blake sent me a text to see what i was doing today, so i called him to see if he wanted to go to west ashley to get swayze fitted for her backpack! except that i forgot that the stove people were coming to fix the oven and that kelly had asked me to be at the house for their appointment so that if the guys came in twos, they wouldn't be all scary 'n' junk. 'cause it'd be a two on two kinda thing. so blake came over to the house while the guy was there fixin' the oven, and then joshua called! he's already in erwin! that gives me hope that i might be able to make it to damascus for trail days. i hope, i hope, i hope.
but then blake and i took swayze to half moon outfitters to see about getting her fitted for her ruffwear approach pack. they only had a small and a large, and she needed a medium. i'd seen a medium at the bike shop over in mt. pleasant a few weeks ago, and it turns out that they're getting out of the whole hiking thing, so the guy told me he'd give me 30% off the dog stuff!! so i got a $75 pack and a $20 leash for $79! deal of the day!!! oh, and i bought my sleeping pad at half moon today, so that's one more thing i can cross of my list. bear bagging, backpacks, and sleeping pads, oh my!
then, since blake works somewhere that sells crocs, we dropped by the store and i figured out which size i will need, and he's going to use his discount to get them for me on friday. :) then we came back to the house and french pressed some casi ceilo. after blake left, kelly fixed supper and i finished adjusting swayze's pack on her. then i semi-demonstrated how to bear bag in the living room using the stair rail as a tree branch.
my mama seems to like the whole "spot" idea. apparently, it offers $100k worth of an insurance policy, should they have to air lift you out of a crevice 'cause you fell down and broke your toe. but blake told me about an app called "everytrail" today, and i think it might be an alright substitute. granted, it won't come with an insurance policy, but it's a gps tracking device and if i keep my phone turned on... who knows. we'll see what happens.
i am so excited!!!!!!!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
my pre-trail jitters are kicking in. i think my last day of work will be next sunday. i keep thinking, "am i really prepared for this? do i really know enough?" but then i think to myself, "hell, grandma gatewood hiked the trail with a rucksack and pair of keds... quit overanalyzing everything!"
on one hand, i think that it's just really simple to get out and hike and that we've overcomplicated things with technology and everything. then on the other hand, i think that people used to ride around without seatbelts and thought they were fine. maybe that's apples to oranges, though.
i'm extremely excited, though, because i learned how to tie the knot to secure securely tie out my rainfly last night. :) i think i might go make a drysack purchase today and go practice bear bagging in the backyard.
big sigh. still in shock. :)