Gravel Springs Hut

Milage walked today:  at least 10.3 miles 

Animals and cool sights:  a doe by a funeral home, a HUGE bear, a mother bear and her cub, a red bird with black wings and a splash of gold feathers on its chest, a tenacious caterpillar, a toad whose call sounded like a clucking chicken. 

  • What I have learned about myself:  the art and strength of perseverance. Two days, while walking Leia with Owl Singer and her dogs, I tripped, rolled my ankle, felt the ankle pop, literally turned head over heels, and was in such shock, I grasped the wrong leg. 

I did something stupid similar today. Only I didn’t just resprain the original ankle. No, I needed to be an overachiever and sprain/bang up the other one too. 

Hiking over seven miles with double miserable ankles was a whole lot of no fun. But I’m proud of myself because once I stopped cussing, I swore I was not going to give up.  

A year ago on day one, I lost my dignity and was in so much pain from wearing thin soled hiking boots, I was ready to quit right there and then. I was dehydrated and eating plenty of protein but not enough carbs.

I was worse than miserable. I was despondent. I was failing on the first day. 

Today is day one of my Appalachian Trail 2017 adventure. 

My ankles ache, a lot. I am taking ibuprofen and sticking my feet in the icy stream every time I refill the water to be filtered. 

But my feet are fine. My spirits are high. I have been laughing when I have not been sunk into The deepest parts of mind to ignore the pain. 

I hurt. I am not going to invoke the cliches of “No pain, no gain” or “pain is weakness leaving the body.”  I hurt and it sucks because I lost so much speed today because every other step hurt. 

I quietly recited the states in alphabetical order forwards and backwards. I recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” forwards and then began memorizing it backwards. 

Owl Singer frequently had to wait for me because I could not take big steps or fast steps. But I made it to the shelter. On my own two feet and still carrying the full weight of my pack. 

I am NOT defeated. Tomorrow, I will buy another ace bandage and will continue to put one foot in front of the other.

I have walked ten miles. Ninety more to go. 

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