I am seriously behind on posting and realized if I am going to be “real-time” in my posts I need to just get over my anal nature of wanting to document things in an orderly fashion. I’m only gonna post on the days I have WiFi for that day. I wanted to be able to do more and document more, but without the cell access and unlimited battery life you all are used to….it just isn’t feasible.
I’ll always try to include links to the Instagram and YouTube media I upload to help with the visuals to the stories…it is faster than trying to upload everything onto this blogging site and making it all look nice and cohesive. So please forgive the disjointedness of it all!
I’ll be doing more flashback style writing to fill in backstories as needed, but for now I want to just stay current.
We arrived into Waynesboro, VA this morning around 8:30am after 22 miles of hiking to a shelter that would get us five miles from town. We hiked 21 miles before that because we hiked a short 13 mile day because….well, we just needed to take advantage of the beautiful weather and the blue sky and the puffy clouds. So, cambyr and I stopped in a beautiful field (2 days ago) to get water from a spring and I laid out on my sleeping pad and just enjoyed the sky. Cambyr came back and joined me and neither of us had any desire to move. So we didn’t move for a few hours. It was glorious! We have earned it! I mean it was only a few days ago that we passed the 800 mile mark! We are getting so close to 1,000 miles! I can hardly believe it!
Now we are here, on the verge of entering the Shenandoah national park! We have looked at the map and see the elevation doesn’t change more than a few thousand feet in elevation and is more moderate than other sections we’ve hiked. Sounds like people are planning to get through the 128 miles in about 5 days. That would be a 25.6 mile per day and a hiking schedule of prob around 7am -6pm (with a lunch break) everyday for five days. That’s a tall order even for us having pulled a number of 20+ days already. To be that consistent…
however, it’s something we will have to do as officially the park is still closed. There have been rumors of rangers being posted to deter thru-hikers but rumors often aren’t the reality. We were hoping they would already be open by now, but either way, we are walking home. Period.
how do we survive the long days and miles?
I wanted to give you some insights into our strategy for the long days/miles we put in. It isn’t easy by any means, but it isn’t torture either. We have rough patches…some call them the “runners wall” but we know they will pass, guaranteed, in time. We are getting better at gracefully acknowledging the wall, accepting its presence and then deliberately choosing any thoughts that feel better…anything that offers some relief. It usually starts simple, like ….right now my hands are cold, I like the thought of warm hands. We realized there is a different feeling when we use different words. We noticed saying “I wish my hands were warm” feels less empowering and almost has a tone of unlikely to happen….as if wishing things automatically makes them impossible dreams. Yet, when we change it to simply enjoying the thought of having warm hands…it brings tremendous relief! And then it gets fun….
…I enjoy thinking about being in dry clothes. I enjoy thinking about my feet in warm sand. I enjoy thinking about my feet being massaged. I enjoy thinking about soaking my feet in warm water. I enjoy the thought of me wearing a summer gown that feels feminine and sexy. I enjoy the thought of dining at a nice restaurant in my gown with the perfect air temperature. I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction a full belly brings. I love thinking about high quality healthy conscious food. I enjoy the thought that I made this dream of hiking the AT come true. I like thinking about all the other dreams I have and all the chances they have of coming true.
And this is a big chunk of our hikes! It typically goes on for hours, but hours out here are a blink of an eye and miles become simple steps. Time and distance have both taken on different meanings and feelings. Time has always been our friend and is always on our side. Distance is just a marker for where you have been and where you would like to be. And the games we play to stay positively focused make our friends Time and Distance closer and deeper every day.
I love the deep and unique friendships we are developing with both Time and Distance.
And I love the game of thinking better thoughts!