I feel discombobulated as I hike the first hour of the day. Too much food. I take it slow….but the terrain isn’t slow today. It’s flat and fast. The nobos speed on by. This flat trail is perfect for the town day push.
The forest helped me ease me into the day; a gentle roll of tread held me by the hand, sunlight filtered in through lush leaves, and the birds chirped the day awake.
Earlier Ron had dropped me off at the highway where I hitched in two days ago. I know I’ll be seeing Ron again, he is section hiking the ODT afterall! (Ron’s trail name is Zen Quake…I don’t think I’ve mentioned that before.)
The ease of the terrain lets the brain play. Thoughts wander and flow around topics and ideas…I’m having so many ideas out here… I have this incredible need to learn and grow and evolve continually. Hiking the AT again 20 years later is giving me a good touch point…where I’ve been, where I want to go, and what I want to do. I’m taking lots of notes (again, another useful thing about having a computer in your pocket.)
I listen to music today, it’s amazing how the miles flow…I heard a bunch of new and wonderful songs from one of my favorite podcasts: All Songs Considered. This was one favorites from Yard Act and Elton John, “100% Endurance” – fast forward to 19:10 for the song.
I laughed out loud as I walked on the soft forest floor. Yes! How can you not want to hike forever when you hear a song like that. I love it!
I play lots of good hiking music. I’m loving this song too: SAOKO by ROSALÍA: (my favorite part starts at 1:58. Imagine walking to this beat…
I am Chaco walking too…there were a couple of fords today and I just left them on. They felt so good until I gave my toes a good zing…actually it took me two good zings to where I thought I had certainly gashed something wide open before I put my shoes back on. Yikes!
It’s hard to stop walking, this is legit PCT tread.
But then I do at the Moxie Bald Mountain lean-to. I claim a tent spot and go check out the water. I find Shorty (nobo) napping on a granite slab that stretches into the water: a perfect spot. We chat for a bit, she seems rad, and I go to get my things for a pond-side dinner.
I splash off a bit, just standing in water up to my ankles when a 6″ leach comes swimming over to take my blood. I jump back…can it smell my funk? How did he know to come over?
I won’t be swimming today. He approached me like a heat-seeking missile. That guy meant business and I don’t want to give him the opportunity.
I make mac and cheese and struggle to eat it. Maybe I snacked too much, maybe I’m still feeling the food from yesterday. Regardless, it’s a lovely evening on the water.
I lay back for a minute and it feels so delicious that I could stay there forever. That’s a good sign that I should be in my tent before I fall asleep for real.
I start a new book on my phone (World of Wonders by Amiee Nezhukumatathil.)
My eyes close well before dark…