Try To Imagine A Day In Our Boots
Day 84 Thursday June 15, 2017 Miles: 874.0 - 888.7 Completed 14.7 Time: 7:33am - 3:45pm Weather: Partly Sunny, hot and humid with early evening tstorms I am sure you have wondered what it must be like to hike the Appalachian Trail. To help you understand what it's like try to imagine a day in our boots. First you wake up early ready to greet the day with wild anticipation (me). Or you wake up and hope your hiking buddy doesn't hear you and you can sleep a few more minutes (Shortcake). Once the eyelids are open you immediately start packing up. Hiking clothes are put on and everything else gets neatly placed back into your backpack hopefully before it starts raining. The last week we have been very fortunate with Mother Nature and have had little to no rain. Did I mention though, the clothes you put on are still wet and stinky from the previous week of hiking. Yes I did say week. They don't dry out. Nice!!! That means 5 - 7 days of sweat and mildew build up. Oh it feels so good on the skin! Not. Once the morning chores are done and the pack is stuffed it's hoisted onto our back. It too is wet and smelly. Well, the straps and hip belt anyways. The pack is dry because we have nice waterproof packs but the harness system is a different fabric and it's worse then our clothes. So we check the time and clank our poles as we set off. 20 minutes into the hike we are dripping with sweat. As the brush, branches, and cobwebs touch our skin we cringe. It's awful!!! Add a layer of insect repellent to that and I am one slick chick. As the morning progresses so does the southern heat. Add that to the never ending inclines and the sweating only worsens. Picture walking on a treadmill at 35 degree incline carrying a small dog on your back with the heat turned up high in your house. The lights are dim since you are in the canopy but every so often a heat lamp is turned on right over your head instantly raising the temperature 10-15 degrees. You walk like this for two hours non stop until you have sweat out more than you have put in and it's time to hydrate. But you can't have your fill because you are only allowed 2 liters of water every 10-12 miles. With all that agony and discomfort believe it or not that's not what you focus on. Sure it's hot and hard work but the sight of a bunny in the brush, a deer in the middle of the trial, or a view that takes your breathe away makes the former insignificant. It's easy to be miserable when you focus on the wrong thing but just a little change in thinking can make a world of difference between either having a tough time or enjoyment. The choice is yours.