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  • Today is April 20th. And in pot smoking lingo it is 4/20. Now, I’ve never smoked pot but I do know some of the lingo and when I saw that it was 4/20 I remembered that we were on a ridge above Watauga Lake in Tennessee, somewhere near the 420 mile mark. I remembered this because there was a hiker named Strider, one of at least two named that, who was young, maybe 18, and had this desire to get to mile 420 on 4/20 so he could smoke a joint—or perhaps a few. He wasn’t anywhere around us on that date, but we were at shelter there and wondered where he was and if he’d dropped out by now. The last we’d seen him was leaving Erwin, TN.

    And so, we would be getting close to Damascus, VA now and making our way for Mt. Rogers and the 500 mile mark on Pine Mtn.

    Time flies. On the trail it is slow and meandering with only the goal to hike and get to a particular destination for the night. Back in life there are so many distractions, things to do, places to see…work.

    I know I am blessed to have been able to hike another long distance trail this year and well, I know honestly I don’t really want to do another one now, but the allure is always there. Sometimes I miss the constant layer of dirt on my legs, heading to a privy or a tree, getting to a shelter and seeing friends, and taking a break next to the trail on a log or rock.

    I’ve been following a few folks this year but it seems a lot are going slower than I expected and also that it seems the trend was a later start this year. So I am still reading about people in Hot Springs when we were miles beyond that by now. I’m ready to read about Virginia! I guess I am also looking forward to Patrice and Justin starting in June and I can’t wait to see the trail in reverse!

    Alright, enough reminiscing.

    Right now, 2800 miles later, I am trying to keep myself occupied between projects at our job. We’re back with the company we temped for last Fall and on a different project. We finished the first portion of the project last weekend and have another week or two before we go back for six to eight weeks for the rest of it. So far we are loving it and enjoy being outdoors and seeing a different part of Texas.

    And since we have some time off again I am trying to catch up on some hobbies. Namely, reading. I’ve been wading through Northanger Abbey but am finding it to be the slowest of all the Austen books I’ve read. In fact, it’s a little boring. I cannot identify much with Catherine Morland’s character either. I think I am going to put it down for awhile and come back to it later. I’m actually thinking that I like Mansfield Park more than Northanger Abbey!

    At Half Price Books I picked up three new books to read, all non-fiction. I used to shun this genre growing up but now find myself reading it more often. The books I picked up were The May Queen, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, and Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States.

    The first I picked up because it has to do with women in their 30s and shhh, but I’m almost 31. Crap. The second I picked up because of course ecology but also because it’s about long leaf pines and lost habitats. It will probably be the first one read. And the last because I figure I need to read another Bill Bryson besides A Walk in the Woods and because on the way home from an interview two weeks ago I caught A Way with Words on NPR and was fascinated.

    I should be busy for awhile!

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