Nickie asked a few posts ago what our greatest hardship has been so far. After thinking about it for awhile, mine has to be homesickness. It’s incredibly crazy, but I do get more homesick than I have in a long while. Even more than when I was at sea for two months between high school and college. I think it will ease up as time goes on, but the little stays in town do not help much. I also think it will help the more that spring comes around and there are things to focus on. Rainy days actually aren’t as bad as the sunny days. It has been so ‘blah’ out there, beautiful, yes, but ‘blah’ because there are no leaves on anything and everything is so brown. I’m just not used to this. I’ve been spoiled by Florida for eight years.
The hills are hard, yes, but you do them and maybe it sucks while you go up the steep ones, but eventually it is ok.
Stairs blow. Especially coming down on the knees. I try to alternate which knee goes down first in order to change the ease on each of them. Lately my right knee has been hurting more.
I really am annoyed with leaves on my hiking pole. Ever since we took the tips off the poles I pick up leaves all the time. I feel like a litter picker-upper.
I hate getting to a big rock that is hard to maneuver to get down. Lately I’ve been taking to sitting down and sliding on it instead of trying to step because in the last three day stretch I fell three times. I have some nice bruises on my right arm, too. Effing rain and wet leaves on rocks.
I’ve been dealing with a stupid cough, too. It’s not even like a cold. I am tired of the wind and cold because my nose runs all day and then gets chapped after all the wiping on the bandanna. I’m ready for warm weather so the cough goes away.
But, what I do love is talking to people, meeting everyone, getting to a shelter a little early to sit around and just enjoy the late afternoon. Some of the tops of the hills have really neat rocky-scrub areas with rhododendrons and azaleas and there are lots of species of lichen. Actually, in some areas the trees are covered in lichen that even being defoliated right now, they appear very green in the right light.
I’m having fun….I just have to get over being homesick. Oh, and not look at the large maps of the entire trail because then I feel like that tiny little inch or two we’ve done is nothing.
One little group of of miles at a time.