Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My 3 Ladies

I know...this is an early post.  Had to say goodbye to my 3 ladies this week.  The first was my beautiful wife for a second time.  It was so good to spend some time with her this weekend even if it was in Gatlinburg.  Hope to see her again soon.  I also said goodbye to the Smokies.  I often refer to the Smoky Mountains as my mistress because I can always visit her and she makes me feel better.  But before she let go of me today, I said goodbye to one more lady- lady luck.  Up to this point, I have been in pretty good health, other than some blisters and chafing and some muscle pain.  Today I bit it hard and heard my ankle pop over the music playing on my iphone.  I was more scared than anything because if it was broken it would surely end this adventure.  After about 5 minutes trying to get up, I was able to put some weight on it and started hobbling down the mountain.  Luckily, Phoenix was right behind me and she offered me an ankle brace which helped get me out of the Smokies and to Standing Bear Hostel.  I am here for the night and will see how my ankle feels tomorrow.  May have to take an unexpected zero day tomorrow, which I hate, because I really want to catch back up with Stefan and the gang in Hot Springs and possibly make it to church there Easter Sunday.  So please pray for my ankle and that I will listen to my body and do the right thing tomorrow.

Day 23 (4/2) - Newfound Gap Rd to Pecks Corner Shelter (10.4 mi)
Physically I felt great today! The zero in Gatlinburg with Wendy did wonders. Emotionally it was a bit tough since I had to say goodbye to Wendy a second time.  It was a bit harder this time because there wasn't the excitement of getting on the trail like there was last time.  It didn't take too long before my ego started getting fed by day hikers amazed at how far I have hiked and where I was going.  The trail was actually pretty busy all the way up to Charlie's Bunion, which was an amazing view worth doing again.  After that I didn't see anyone for about 3 miles until I ran into Walking Home, who happens to be in the same facebook group of AT hikers as me.  He is the second person from that group I have met on the trail.  We met up again at the shelter and hung out some until it was time to turn in.

Day 24 (4/3) - Pecks Corner Shelter to Cosby Knob Shelter (12.9 mi)
I got off to a slightly early start because of the number of miles I was planning on doing.  As I found my stride I felt great.  For the first time in a while nothing was hurting or bothering me.  Made it to the five mile mark for an early lunch at the Tri-Corner Knob Shelter and then took off quickly again which ended up being a huge mistake.  About a quarter mile up the trail I got caught in another storm.  I was quick to gab my pack cover and rain coat, which was good because this rain had some sting to it.  Then I noticed, it wasn't just rain, it was pea sized hail.  After 15 minutes of hailing, it looked like snow covering the trail.  It finally cleared up and no sooner than I took off my rain gear it started hailing again.  Luckily it only lasted a few seconds.  Made it to the shelter fairly early which was good because it started pouring rain again.  I am about a day behind my crew so I am hoping to make up some big miles tomorrow.  I have enjoyed getting to know Phoenix, Steps, Pancake, and Navigator, but I miss my trail family.  If they zero in Hot Springs I should be able to catch up.

Day 25 (4/4) - Cosby Knob Shelter to Standing Bear Hostel (10 mi)
I was shooting for a 17 mile day today, which would have been a record day for me.  Started off feeling great.  I had good rhythm and was making great miles in great time.  I hit the 7 mile mark in just 3.5 hours.  I knew I could make it where I wanted to go and I kept the tunes cranked as I was cranking out the miles...until...on the trail are logs to help guide water off the trail.  Even though they appear dry, they are not.  I stepped on one and my right foot completely slipped off and when I landed it popped loud enough to hear over my music.  That brings me to Standing Bear Hostel, where I had no intention of staying or even stopping and I wish I didn't have to be here.  I have already seen more beer, weed, and pills in an hour than I have in my whole life and the night is still very young.  Maybe I can just turn in early, say its my ankle, and forget this day ever happened.


  1. Keep it up Brian. Think of the journey ahead of you and all the awesome things you're going to experience once you're out of there. Philippians 4:13

  2. Whatever you are... tired... weary... conflicted... you are not ALONE! Matthew 28:20

    Bobby D