5-26-12 AT miles hiked today: 15.4 Total AT miles hiked: 300.3!!!!
Wow, I just realized that I've hiked over 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail. I hope there are people donating into Rhubarb's Angel Fund by the miles I've hiked. Maybe you'll donate more than you expected???
My left ankle is still swollen but rarely painful. Today it felt close to normal, but it does ache more at the end of the day than it used to. Of course, so does everything else, so what is the difference really?
I had a really hard day. It was in the high 80s and humid and there were some big climbs including Firescald Knob. Actually, Firescald would have been more fun with all those boulder climbs if it hadn't come at the end of today. It was beautiful up there. I skipped side views and firetowers today and yesterday, because of the ankle, but I couldn't pass up the boulder climbs, even with the ankle. There was a bypass trail that I hear was easy and flat and fast, and I was tempted to take it for a moment, but I'm glad I did the ridge climb.
I had to use music today just to keep moving, even though it was only a trudge. Music helped so much. It made me feel better to know that others really had a hard time today as well. At least it wasn't something wrong with me specifically. These people who said the trail gets easier after the Smokies are cruel and mean people! It's still just as hard as it ever was. Rockin Robin was talking about quiting after today. I suggested she just slow down, but she doesn't want to lose her group. I said, you're going to lose them anyway, if you quit. Then I told her about Houdini.
Houdini said he wanted to try for twenty miles today, so I said goodbye this morning. I will miss having him as a hiking partner, but there was no way I could do that with my ankle hurt. He signed the register at this shelter saying he gives up on the twenty mile days idea, but he still hiked a couple extra miles past the shelter. He thinks I might catch him. I guess, if my ankle gets better and I do more miles and he does less or takes a zero. But it will probably be like happened with Wendigo and the others. He'll get a mile or two further ahead every day and soon he'll be days ahead. That is okay though. We all need to hike our own hikes, and I'd hate to think I was holding him back. I like to think I'm collecting friends on the trail to appreciate later, off the trail.