12-8-12

Days since my thruhike began: 234
AT miles hiked today: 13.9
Total AT miles hiked: 2165.6
Miles to complete my thruhike: 18.6

Neville made us a breakfast of eggs, toast and coffee this morning and we leisurely headed back to the trail. It was hazy but the sun burned its way out later in the morning. There were some views from a nice ridge and the temperature reached the sixties. The trail was smooth and I enjoyed the miles of rhododendron tunnels, the pine trees and all the water. I loved the trail today. It smelled green and warm and it was perfect. Maybe I'm not ready to be done yet, after all.

I got a new blister on my right foot today, plus new hot spots on my feet and the back chafing is getting worse. Thank goodness for New Skin. It has kept the chafing under control and though it burns terribly when applied, it really does protect the area. I met a guy who got a staph infection under his pack that took over much of his back and he had to go to a doctor and take time off to recover. New Skin has been my treatment of any skin rashes, wounds, chafing and hot spots, plus hangnails and a cracked thumb. I will never hike without New Skin.

We got to the road that leads to Trent's Grocery at 5:30, just as it got dark. Eagle Eye saw a light across the road and yelled "City Slicka?" It was him and he will come to the dojo tomorrow night for the party. We knew he was just barely ahead of us because he had signed the register where we stopped for lunch and we hoped we would find him. He doesn't slackpack, though, so he's staying out tonight. Eagle Eye and I called Nigel at the dojo and then walked to Trent's for a burger while we waited for him.

At the dojo we found Teddy Bear and his wife, Erin. He finished his hike last week and misses it so much that he and Erin drove ten hours to come up here. There were also balloons for us from the Con Gals (Toe Knee, Blaze and Nice Lady). Thank you! Wish you could have been here instead but the balloons are a fun surprise.

I got bad news about my Aunt Normandie tonight. She had blood clots and a massive stroke after her shoulder surgery and is not responsive. There isn't much hope. My family is shocked and upset and many are driving to be with her, including my dad. I am crying. I am so glad I got a chance to talk with her in August while I was in Maine and she was camping in Idaho. She even gave me some money towards my hike and now I may not see her alive again. I love you, Aunt Normandie.