9-11-12

AT miles hiked today: 8.7
Total AT miles hiked: 1318.6
Miles to complete my thruhike: 865.6

I'm tenting at the Ten Mile River Shelter. Smiley and Alabama are in the shelter with Rockin' Robin, talking late into the night. So it seems I got a little off on my math and I have hiked more miles than I thought. I'm starting over on the numbers for this section and not going to try to figure out where I went wrong before.

Miles from Springer Mountain to Bastian, VA: 586.9
Miles from Kent, CT to Katahdin: 723
Total AT miles hiked when I completed Katahdin: 1309.9

I started hiking in Kent, Connecticut again. This time I'm headed SOBO (southbound) and beginning the final leg of my 2012 thruhike. I was calling it a "Leapfrog" hike because I read that somewhere, and I did leap over the middle section, but I like how Miss Janet calls it an "Inside Out" thruhike. I am hiking the inside last and did the outside sections first.

Toe Knee has another sister, Jill, and she and Linda drove us to Kent, and made us zucchini bread and blueberry muffins. They were amazing! Thank you!

I am so happy that my journey on the Appalachian Trail is not over yet. I am happy to have Rockin' Robin hiking with us again. I feel so grateful for these beautiful trails. There isn't any mud here! It's beautiful (though it's not Maine), the weather is perfect, and I am carrying 40lbs. I know it's too heavy, and I feel the pain of the weight, but I like the stuff I carry. I'm okay with it. But I will greatly enjoy the lighter weight as my food bag shrinks. I did also have to go back to carrying my camera in/on my pack instead of my waistband. I have lost almost 40 pounds and my belly had shrunk so much that my camera case loosens the waistbelt which is as snug as it can get, and all the weight rests on my shoulders. I am guessing this is why my back muscle is unhappy.

I love the shelter registers. It's fun reading the notes of people I met in the north who have now finished their thruhikes. Smiley says he remembers meeting me back in the Norwich, VT area. I'll have to figure out where exactly. I hope we will meet other southbounders and flip floppers that we met before. I am excited to meet my SOBO trail family.

I think I'll finish the entire trail in mid November. I have not hiked this trail very fast, but I feel I've really experienced this journey in a unique, profound, and perfect way for me. Plus, I think I have some great pictures, though I have to get on a computer with them to really see how they turned out.

On a spooky note, the register here has many stories about a crazy lady who frequents the water pump to do laundry and get water, I guess. I hope not to meet her.