Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day Off in Damascus

I made it to Virginia, but I am still only 466 miles into the trail. While I am 21% of the way there, Maine still feels like a long way off. I am however, quite literally, finding my stride. It seems that my routine is: that I have no real routine. While I still put my left sock on before my right, it seems that every day brings something new to contend with. The weather is also warming up, so I will start worrying less about freezing at night and more about staying hydrated during the day.

Never one to shy away from commitment I decided to buy some trekking poles. It seems that I have a good rhythm while using them and it seems to increase my cadence, not to mention save my knees on steep down hills. I also have another new pair of boots. I am now using trail running shoes as opposed to actual boots. Being that the weight of my backpack is dwindling, the need for stiff boots is decreasing. While my pack didn’t weight 50 pounds to start with, I am still finding ways to lighten the load. It is getting to the point though that the only way to drop a few ounces is to spend big bucks on super lightweight gear and I don’t really want to go there. I made it this far with my pack, I hope to make it the rest of the way. I am having some technical difficulties posting my gear list (which has changed significantly since I started), but I hope to have that up soon, as well as the miles/town section for the hike. It is difficult when I keep getting tossed out of libraries after an hour of internet usage.

Over the last five days I have averaged a hair over 25 miles a day, including another 32 mile day. For the trip I am averaging just over 21 miles a day. The trip isn’t all about the miles though. I have seen some unbelievable scenery and tons of wildlife (fortunately no bears). I have also been meeting a bunch of people along the way on the trail if only for five minutes. For the most part, other people that are hiking don’t really cover large distances, so if I see them on the trail once or twice that is usually about it. It’s a bummer in a way as there are a number of people I met on the trail for however so briefly that I had some good conservations with. I guess the flip side is that the handful of people I had an aversion to, I will never have to see ever again.

I usually like to have more interesting things to say about the trail, but when I leave myself 15 minutes to write and post to the web site, it is basically a stream of consciousness. In the next week or two I am thinking about taking off two days to rest the body and fully update the web site. Hopefully some of those interesting people that I had passed on the trail will catch up.

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