Iron Mountain Shelter

AT miles hiked today: 11.5
Total AT miles hiked: 440.8

I thought today would be easier, but it felt hard. I fell behind with Eagle Eye who had a calf cramp and probably couldn't have gone much faster if I had tried, but I didn't try. We actually had a nice chatty hike and it was a beautiful day with nice trails. Houdini, Jaybird, Ewok and Too Tall caught up and passed us today after I was ahead of them for a couple of days. They took a zero day and then caught us. They stopped here for dinner and then kept going.

There is a stomach bug going around and hikers are getting and spreading it. Somebody at Kincora had it and was just recovering, and Wrangler, who I met again today, is not feeling great either. Also, Low Profile is sick and Crazy Beard is with him.

The women asked Wrangler to tent or stay on the other side of the shelter because they are afraid of getting it. My stomach is a little off today, but I haven't vomited. I wonder if I am dragging because I got a mild version of the bug or maybe because I haven't had a zero day since Trail Days.

I am struggling with my desire to be a part of this group of wonderful women, and my need not to feel like I'm being hounded to keep up to their schedule. I appreciate the motivation I get from them, and the benefits and discounts you get while in a group, but I don't like being on somebody else's schedule. And I don't like that they don't ever take zero days. I need my own space and timing in order to appreciate this hike, and I'm starting to feel like I have to make certain miles by a certain time or others are upset with me. Yes, the motivation is good, but I am not liking the other side of the same coin. I may just take my own zero in Damascus and let all that go, along with the group. Maybe I'm just grumpy today and not feeling 100%.

Maybe I just need to rest and take a zero. The guys know how to enjoy their hikes, though they have some of the same dynamic going on in their group and I can't keep up with them anyway. I guess it's inevitable in group dynamics that some will be the taskmasters and mile counters who get frustratedand others will struggle to keep that pace. I am struggling today.