October 6th

It's Friday night at about 8 o'clock and I'm sitting in my sleeping bag with all of my clothes on.  The thermometer on the wall read 40 degrees a few hours ago and there's a cold front coming through.  I'm in the Corliss shelter, a nice cabin with two sets of bunk beds, a nice break from the 8 hours and 16 miles of rain we walked through today.  Today was the first day in a while where I didn't have at least one meltdown.  My legs barely get tired anymore and I'm finally getting numb to the rain.  I need to talk about climbing Mt. Mansfield a few days ago and the horror show day that was yesterday.  I'm so goofy at this point that I may have talked about Mansfield already.  Maybe I'll keep this short and tell you what I've been thinking about now that I have less than 5 days to go.  As you can probably imagine it's a strange mix of contradictory emotions.  My dad joked before I left that I might not come back.  No chance of that happening.  There are so many things I'll miss when this is over: the amazing people of Vermont who have treated me like gold even though I was filthy and disgusting, the amazing characters that I've met along the way, the beauty of this state even when it's shown me its worst, and the simplicity of life out here.  Eat, sleep, walk.  It's so simple but not one day has been easy.  My easiest day out here was much harder than any days I have back home.  Even though I feel a little guilty about saying it, I miss watching TV, miss Subway “sammiches,” miss not only the people I work with but my actual job, and, I don't know, so much more.  It's a bit early in the game to start getting all sentimental considering I still have over 50 miles to go, but this is all I've got for tonight.  Climbing Mt. Mansfield will require its own post since it was one of the most frightening things I've ever done (while sane).

Thanks to all the people who have texted, emailed, called, and left comments.  Sorry if I haven't gotten back to you.  Sometimes I've been too exhausted and I know I've responded to a bunch that never went through.  Verizon seems to like northern VT much more than the southern part of the state.