Day 5: Thursday, May 5th
I wake up early and realize where I am and roll back over. The sheets are cozy and I can hear a truck starting in the parking lot. Today is zero day, Yay!! But I still have a few things to do. I have to finish blog entries, get my blue toenail looked at (I dropped something on it about two weeks ago and all the pressure of going downhill is causing small trauma to it), do my laundry because it is very stinky and call a few people. I sit up in the hotel bed and read all of my Facebook messages and I am truly overwhelmed by all the love and support from everyone!! I am shocked that so many people think that I’m a great writer. I never thought of myself as having anything really interesting to say and now that I do I’m happy everyone is enjoying it… Even the really honest parts. I had no intentions of writing anything but the truth through my eyes and ears and sore body parts. So thank you all very much for enjoying my crazy adventure so far.
I roll off of the bed and almost hit the floor. My legs are so stiff and my feet ache so bad I almost don’t make it to the bathroom without a rest. And you know the bathroom in hotels is no more than 4 feet away from the bed. I stretch and laugh at my bruises in the mirror. Some are blue and black, some yellow but all are pretty large in size. A few small scratches shine pink on my ankles but for the most part everything is just sore! I call the parents and my best friend, Lindsay, and just have a quick chat. It’s nice talking to people I know again. I do laundry and write in my journal.
Next up is taking a cab to the Cherokee Indian hospital instead of walking to get my blue toenail a check up. I think it’s fine, it doesn’t hurt that much but I do go because it will make Dad feel better. I Google a bunch of stuff that helps but it’s always good to doublecheck. The hospital is on the reservation so the questions I get asked our tribe related, which I find interesting and then I know why. It’s $250 just to be seen if you’re not a member of the tribe. Makes sense now. I still say yes because I told Dad I would have it looked at. I don’t wait long and then I get to see Dr. Tim. As soon as he knocks on the door I like him. He gives me this “What are you doing?” look. He then says nothing and looks at my toe. I just smile for a minute and finally say “Hello” and “It’s just a little blue.” He just laughed and then sits down in a chair and asks how my trip is going. I say “Excuse me? My trip?” He responds, “Yes, because I’m interested in you.” So we talked about my trip and the fact that he’s going on a fishing trip in Alaska soon and is afraid to fly. We talk as if we’re old friends just catching up from the last time we chatted. He was one of those people that without really knowing you could talk to for days. After a few minutes I have to remind him about my toe. Dr. Tim says “Its fine for now but you may have to drill a hole in it soon with a red hot paperclip.” My eyes bulge out of my head a little. “I read not to do that on Google by several sources. And I already trust you but I don’t know that I could do that.” He quickly reminds me that I’m walking solo over a thousand miles across the state and that he knows I can do it if and when I need to. He tells me just to wait until it gets darker or until it’s really painful or it might just fall off anyway. I really don’t want to lose my toenail so I ask him exactly what to do when the time comes. Dr. Tim then gives me two small needles and tells me to burn them red hot and then just tap a little dot into my toenail. That will relieve the pressure and then that part of the toenail will just grow off. Gross and good. Sweet Dr. Tim also charges me nothing and for that I was very grateful!
Up next I called taxi guy back and ask him if there’s a Mexican place around because it is Cinco de Mayo and I want chips and salsa. There is but it’s on the reservation so there’s no alcohol, so long margaritas. I decide chips and salsa are worth it and I make my way to the only authentic Mexican restaurant on a Cherokee Indian reservation. It’s delicious of course and I eat every bite and then I’m ready for a rest.
I call taxi guy back one last time to take me back to the hotel. It’s the same guy every time and by now I know his life story. He asked me if I mind picking up another lady just around the corner and of course I do not. We pick her up from the grocery store, a little old lady, pretty homely looking but sweet as pie. I find out that she had to stop at the store to get snacks for Nicole, she needs them for her lunch the rest of the week and she also got her a treat for this weekend. I help her get her groceries out when we get to her destination and she says thank you and good luck.
Back at the hotel now and laying in bed again and then I turn the TV on but immediately mute it. I look over my maps and trail guides for the next few days so I know what my next goals are. I read more Facebook post and write my blog. I talked to Madre and she tells me that she and dad have been talking every day since I left. WTF?! That’s amazing and truly surreal. They are now friends who talk real words to each other almost daily. If only I had done this years ago. Today’s been great and a little relaxing but I’m nervous about tomorrow. Snow was in the forecast as well as rain and colder temperatures.
Total Miles: 26.7 (zero day)
Day 6: Friday, May 6th
Up early-ish around 7:10, no birds to wake me up but my alarm scares the crap out of me. I shower one more time, because I can. I get my bag ready and refill all my water bottles and Camelback. And put a day old clean shirt on, pants and pull my laces tight. A few more items I got for resupply go into my bear canister, I call mom and dad one more time and then I’m off. Today’s goal is to get to campsite #47 on the Enloe Creek 13.6 miles away from where I last stopped. The only problem is I walked 3 miles into town and don’t want to walk it again. Been there done that and I’m not sure I could make it 16.6 miles just yet. Crap! I call up taxi guy one last time and he’s there within minutes. I plan on walking the whole trail and a few more miles here and there is fine but the forecast is gloomy and will get chilly tonight. I’d rather not be walking in the dark, in the cold, and putting my tent up using my headlamp.
Today I’m walking up yet another mountain in the rain everything is wet and rocky and hurts. Sometimes the sun comes out to play but only for a few minutes at a time. It becomes windy at the top and then I go back down again. I take lots of pictures today because the scenery changes so often and I love that about this day. Lots of waterfalls creeks and streams and a few people. I chat with a lady Park Ranger for a little bit and she tells me I’ll have the campsite to myself, which I like, for now.
I walk up… a lot! Which I hate all over again. It’s truly beautiful on this mountain but it’s pure torture on my body. I think to myself if I would’ve gotten in better shape it wouldn’t be so bad. But then I think if I would’ve gotten myself in the shape I needed it to be in I would’ve gotten tired and quit that and never made it to here. I know I did the right thing by sipping cold beers thinking about all this for the months leading up to my trip. And now I want a beer. I need one and deserve one after hiking my way up this mountain.
The pain goes away when I see the next trail marker and I know I’m on the right track. I get really excited at those and often take pictures. Plus it gives me something to look forward to. I come to a creek that I have to cross and I decide to get all wet and go for. It’s been raining off and on all day and I have dry socks for later. Thankfully I make it to my campsite not long after that. Or at least I think it’s my campsite, it doesn’t have a number anywhere. I passed #48 and #47 is next so I assume it’s the right one. Plus I’m ready to be done walking so I just put up my tent and make it my home for the night.
I take lots of pictures because there’s a really cool bridge that goes over these huge rocks with cascades just spilling out from all sides. There are several large tree trunks that have almost a weave pattern, fallen over onto the side of a few of the larger rocks. I say out loud “If I was a bear that’s where I’d stay, looks cozy.” I don’t get scared but if I did this would be the place it happened. I’m too tired to be scared. I’ll have to worry about tomorrow. Oh, Scarlett. Up next is the same ole routine night things: put up tent, eat dinner, put bear canister away, write in journal and crawl into my sleeping bag. (Side note: As I journal tonight and listen to the water splashing and surrounding me from all sides, I realize this is truly the first time I’ve kept up with a journal more than 4 or 5 days… Ever. Except for maybe when I was 8 and I had one of those journals with the lock and key… You know the kind, breaks and doesn’t lock after day 8 and then why would you write down secrets in a journal that can’t be locked.) At 7:11 I tidy up my tent by putting flashlights where I can get to them easily and making sure my whistle and extra coat are nearby should I need them. Then I close my eyes.
Total Miles: 40.3
(I’ll go back and add pictures when I have access to a computer)