I tossed and turned all night. It’s funny how I get so used to comfort and once it’s removed I can feel so soft. My first night was spent alone, instead of a shelter where there was sure to be other hikers. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid at first. The sounds of the night can be intimidating. It is so strange to me how we as humans have come so far, conquered so much and yet being alone in the woods I am reminded of my own insignificance. I am one small girl out in the vast expanse of the wild.
I am not afraid today; no In fact I woke with the opposite feelings. I have one goal in mind, to hike, and to document my journey. I think of Bobby and all the sacrifices we have made, and all the work given for me to be here now. I remind myself to be here now. So I stop and take in the pure silence and emptiness of the wilderness around me. I listen to the birds and their ceaseless songs. I sip my coffee and wonder at how I came to be here. The next task is to simply walk and I am really good at walking…
The following day… 19 miles
I make it to Sams Gap and there is trail magic. A family serves up chili dogs complete with chips, soda, cookies and coffee. There is already a group of hikers by the time I arrive. I decided earlier today that I should eat all the foods. This trip will be hard enough as it is and so I give myself leave to take comfort in food. I decide to have two hot dogs. It is during my seconds dog that I meet an older man who goes by the name Country Boy. He tells me his wife is waiting for him in Erwin. “Says she’ll bring me a bucket of chicken wearing nothing but an apron. I’m not sure which to chose first!” he laughs. To which I respond, “Same time. Defiantly same time”. He laughs and I can tell by his face he is picturing that seneario. I leave him to his wife and chicken thoughts and get a cup of coffee.
I’m beyond refreshed when I leave the trail angles. I make my way along the trail and begin to understand one thing and the theme of this journey.
Take one day at a time. One step at a time.