11-25-12

Days since my thruhike began: 221
AT miles hiked today: 8.8
Total AT miles hiked: 1990.1
Miles to complete my thruhike: 194.1

I have less than 200 miles to complete my thruhike! I think I might actually finish! I have believed all along that I would complete my hike, but I know so many things can happen, and still could, to end my hike. At this point only something out of my control, like a bad injury or something happening at home could stop me from finishing. I sometimes think of Rainbow, who fell, again, just 40 miles south of Katahdin, fractured her hip and could not complete her hike. I am doing my best to be careful and take care of myself so nothing like that happens to me. I have fallen so many times, as has every thruhiker I know. I think it's pure luck that I have never been truly injured.

I started hiking at 11am because I woke up and everything was frozen. All the water bottles, the pond out front, my aqua mira drops, wet wipes. All of it was frozen, except the water I heated and slept with to stay warm. That water bottle was cold in my sleeping bag, but not frozen. The trail was nice again today, though mostly uphill, which is harder on my knee. My knee does feel better than it did, but that may be because I have been taking ibuprofin in the mornings for it and rubbing Aspercream on it. Before this I had never hiked while on ibuprofin. I believe the pain is a message from my body and I can cause additional damage by masking it in order to keep hiking, and so I have never done that before. However, I am so close to completing my hike that I have decided to risk it, and it's working so far.

This morning, like last night, I changed my clothing in the super nice outhouse to get out of the wind. The privy was the warmest spot around and I considered sleeping in there if I got too cold last night, but I was fine with my gear and hot water bottle.

I enjoyed the view from Bluff Mountain and saw the memorial plaque for little Ottie Cline Powell who died in that spot in the 1800s, after wandering seven miles away from his school. He was 4 years and 11 months old. I don't know why I found it so poignant, but I thought about him for quite a while as I hiked. That was a big climb for me. Why would a five year old do that?

I have my tent up in Johns Hollow Shelter and we didn't make a fire. It's slightly warmer tonight, thank goodness.