Today we arrived at Amicalola Falls State Park, GA. From here you can hike up a steep, rugged 8-mile approach trail to the Appalachian Trail trailhead on Springer Mountain. There are other ways to get there, and we are doing one of those. "We" -- Steve is driving me up to a Forest Service road that crosses the Trail about a mile into it; together we'll hike back to the trailhead, and together we'll walk my first mile. Together. Together.... my husband and me.
It's not like this is goodbye for six months. He's going to meet me and bring me food in 4 days, again 3 days later, and one more time before I get out of Georgia. THEN I'm on my own. Till Maryland, when he'll be able to meet me a few more times.
We're here. I'm ready. But I can't go yet.
I've got business to take care of tomorrow: paying the last of my stupid medical bills incurred during the summer: my physical therapy, the oral surgeon, the dentist, the emergency room (that humdinger panic attack.) Running into town for a few last-minute items.
I need to write out the list of post offices where I'll be stopping, and send it to my mother.
I need to wait for my friend Sally, who's doing half this venture with me. She and her son left Winchester, VA today. She's starting her hike with him via the approach trail, which she really wants to do, on Tuesday, spending the night somewhere at the top. And I'm starting from the top on Wednesday. Somewhere Wednesday, we'll catch up to each other.
It often happens that people who've planned to start and stay together, find they develop different goals as their hikes evolve. It's kind of like in a marathon: you start with a friend, then one gets tired and lags behind, or the other feels full of pep and wants to go faster, or one stops in a porta-pot and doesn't want the other to blow her race by waiting for her, and they end up each running their own race. That's the code of the road: Run your own race.
It often happens this way on the Trail. You hike your own hike. So we may stay together, and we may not. Time will tell. It's like the headlights.... you can only see so far ahead.
I LOVED that sermon. It, like many other experiences in that Southern Gospel Lutheran church, changed me life.
Anyway, so I'm hanging around waiting for the next two days to pass. I sewed a new buckle on my tent. I fixed a broken drawstring in my rain pants. I got inspired and made a pair of fleece mittens from scraps I had lying around... traced around my hands, cut them out, and sewed them together. I examined my sleeping bag to see if it might be better for me a foot shorter. Decided against that. Debated sleeping in my tent tonight to assure myself one more time I can hack it below freezing (it's cold here.) Steve talked me out of it. I think he wants me to sleep with him :-)
I'm as buzzed as a bee. I feel like I've had too much caffeine. I took a pill: I don't want one of those cursed panic attacks, like the one that felt like a heart attack and landed me in the hospital. They're not born of anxiety exactly.... they're adrenaline surges gone awry. And I've got plenty of adrenaline going. I do *not* want a friggin' panic attack. So I took a pill.
Many thanks to Fiberjoy for her beautiful story about me on her blog. What a lovely friend. Thank you, Friend Fiberjoy!