11-22-12

Days since my thruhike began: 218
AT miles hiked today: 16.7
Total AT miles hiked: 1970
Miles to complete my thruhike: 214.2

It is Thanksgiving day. There was a beautiful bald, and was cold again but warmer than it has been. Teddy Bear passed us heading into Buena Vista and we decided to try and get into town for the holiday, but we had gotten a late start. We hiked down to the road leading to Buena Vista and called a number Teddy Bear gave us. So we had a ride with Gary, who came to help us even though it was 7pm on Thanksgiving night. I was very emotional and feeling quite homesick today, and I was happy to get a phone call from my Dad as I climbed a mountain in the deepening dusk. He put me on speaker phone as I huffed and puffed up Cold Mountain. I could hear my siblings and nieces and nephews all taking and laughing and I felt more connected to them, but also more isolated when I hung up because I really wanted to be with them.

Once in town we went to the only store open, a convenience store, and got microwave bean burritos, eggnog, donuts, soda, chips and dip. Then we went to the Buena Vista Motel and I put football on the tv and we ate our unsatisfying meal. It was still a luxury for hikers, but it wasn't the Thanksgiving meal I really wanted, so I was disappointed. I had a hard day, physically and emotionally, but I was very grateful to be under a roof with a heater and a bathtub, so I took a bath. I didn't get everything I wanted (turkey dinner!) but I was finally able to appreciate what I did get, like a soft bed, running water and electricity. Gratitude is a mindset, and I realized how little I really need to feel safe and happy, if I can only remember to appreciate what I do have.