Tuesday, September 19, 2017 (Day 140)
I had a late start, only rising after hearing a hiker quickly pass from behind.
Though yesterday I found myself on the verge of tears, today I find myself laughing as I move through the trees in the magical fog, exclaiming aloud “oh, I’m so happy!”. What a beautiful, fantastical roller-coaster ride.
It was not long before I reached Route 2. The trail follows the road for a short while. Conveniently located on trail, was a hostel. I thought to stop in and charge my things and maybe catch a ride to Wal-Mart. I was not allowed inside the hostel (nor were any of the hiker guests, without first changing their clothing and cleaning up in the garage), but I was comfortable enough sitting cross-legged on the driveway. I joined the group to Wal-Mart, ate a dinner of tofu, accepted and drank the offered IPA. In short: I lost focus. It was very late before I hiked out, but I hiked out.
After about four miles, I reached the top of a climb. I was satisfied. I began to unpack for bed.
Then, a horrible feeling…I did not have my bag containing my external power banks. Oh no. What should I do? I needed to keep my phone charged, not just for maps, but to record the adventure. I had to turn back. I had to engage in one of my least favorite activities of all time. I had to back-track.
It was after 2am. Off I went, back the way I came. I had taken a break on trail earlier in the night. Maybe I had left it there? Nope.
Finally, at around 4am, I made it back to the hostel. Fortunately the back door that led to the garage was still open. I found my bag buried beneath a pack, glanced at the hiker box, and headed back to the trail.
I was growing tired at this point. The sun would rise soon. At least I recovered my bag, I thought. I travelled about a mile before pulling off in to the woods that lined a gravel road. I weaved far enough in to the woods not to be seen by any passerby. I positioned myself behind a tree and slept.
Nine miles of hiking for one mile of progress.
Oh momentum! Dear, dear momentum! Please, come back to me soon