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Skooch - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2011

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City: St Petersburg
State: Fla
Country: usa
Begins: Jun 1, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Jun 8th, 2011

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 667
Journal Visits: 2,119
Guestbook Views: 112
Guestbook Entrys: 5

Appalachian Trail Map

tuesday June 7th zero day to heal

Tues June 7 Goose Creek Cabin
1 PM- This is my second day here. Ive been the only guest on the property. Janie the housekeeper came by to bring me some rubbing alcohol for my heel. I may need another day off considering the size and depth of the wound. It was an ordinary little blister for about 3days and turned into this. I never felt the hot spot and hiked along thinking about other things. I douse it several times a day now. On the trail I washed it with soap and water and tried to let it dry out at night. I used neosporine and tried to cover it properly. The AT doesnt allow a hiker much down time. My need to push forward to get to camp and water during the day is too great for me. Soreness, pain, exhaustion and mind games to keep motivated are the norm. And so Im taking down time I do not want. My period has slowed up. I have swelling in both knees but they do not hurt today. I have a large, weird bite or allergic reaction on the inside of my left ankle that does not itch or hurt. I noticed it a few days ago. It does not change so I continue to watch it. So weird that I took its picture. Maybe Ill give it a name. I could be the host for some crazy insect babies.
My cabin is comfortable but old and drafty. Ive plugged the holes in the screens with paper towel and tape to keep the flies and spiders out. There are two rooms, two beds, kitchen and a bathroom. All functioning well enough. Im starting to get antsy. I really want to leave in the AM. Keith, the owner is a widower who takes care of his elderly dad at home somewhere else. There are vestiges of a womans touch around the grounds and in this cabin. Country curtains, a quilt and a dried flower wreath above the little hearth. I picked blue hydrangeas from a large bush on my walk around this morning and put them in a drinking glass on my dining table. The property has a man-made lake that Keith keeps it stocked with trout for guests who fish.
8:30 PM- I was hoping Janie would come back by to have a glass of wine with me this evening. Ive been sitting here waiting on a bear and its almost dark. She said there is a black bear that meanders out of the woods right past my porch and down to the creek to see if anyone has been cleaning fish today. I could use some excitement but no bear. Keith has looked after me pretty good. He brought me to town yesterday for resupply and something for my fridge. Janie did my stinky laundry for only $ 5.
So tonight I called Keith and told him I want to settle up in the morning and asked him to take me back to the trail head at Neels Gap. Ive been trying to figure out how to get to Whitley Gap shelter tomorrow. I read online just now that the shelter is over 7miles away because the blue blaze is a long one and the water is far from the shelter. Ill have to walk heavy with water again. Ive taken this downtime to go through my stuff and lighten up.
12 AM- and my resolve is waning. I feel that I know what its like to push myself beyond anything Ive done before and done it day after day. I understand so much more than the boundaries life puts on us and what we box ourselves into. We have the ability to step out of our lives and grow. Ive cried for 7 days, 5 of those while hiking alone in the woods. Ive cried because Ive been overwhelmed at every turn. I overcame fear of the unknown. I know the beauty of the earth and the kindness of strangers. Ive learned that I can leave my family and they will accept my journey as they fear for me. 3 months was my intention. I thought it would take at least that long to come to this spiritual place. Tonight the crying has stopped. Ive decided to go home. I want to apply the lessons Ive learned. I want to show others a deeper kindness and get my hands in the earth at home. I want to nurture my grandchildren with nature. I feel content now, more than any other time in my life. I left my anxiety and bottle up emotions on the trail. I was humbled when I asked that couple for some of their water. Ill never forget what its like to be shown a kindness. I cried when others felt compelled to pray for me. I have been brought to tears by the sound of the wind rushing through the trees. I found my spirit out there. Not my soul. Not that condemned thing that is going to hell because I cant be good enough. My spirit is alive and is lifted up by all other life on earth.

Entry 7 of 7
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Appalachian Trail - 2011

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. Conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937, it traverses the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Learn more:


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