Day 18: Wednesday, May 18th 2016
I get up at 7:15 and roll over a few times before I actually get out of bed. I didn’t sleep all that great but I’m not complaining, a bed beats that blow up mattress any day. I’m tired! My body knows it needs rest and I’m concerned about the forecast… Storms at noon until late tonight.
I go to breakfast and run into Jim and ask him if he’d like to join me for breakfast. He’s already eaten but agrees to sit with me and chat. I’m delighted. We talk and talk. He’s fascinating! He used to model in college, was an engineer, a pilot, teaches hang gliding lessons, is a priest for an Amish community a few months every year and is also an award winning painter… Wow. We tell all kinds of stories and laugh a lot. When I’m done with breakfast I thank him for the great conversation and ask to take a picture with him. He happily agrees and then I say I hope I see him again, because I do.
I head back to my room after breakfast and check out my maps and trail guides and my body is screaming for a break. I call Madre and Dad and talk with them. Rest it is, they agree that rest is best. I call the from desk to see about another night, fully booked. Rest will wait. I pack up and I walk.
A mile in I make it to the former site of George Vanderbilt’s Buck Spring Hunting Lodge with a pretty view and sit and journal. Then I’m off again. Today’s goal, walk and enjoy the pretty day as its not storming… Yet!
I make my way to some pretty spectacular views at overlooks. Today I’m just sluggish in everything I do. Almost all my steps are small and ache my whole body, even when I position myself to go down. Yes, today going down the mountain is no fun. I hope in the future I don’t say these words or even think them. But that’s just it… I knew when I got up today that my body needed a rest. I feel bad for thinking so. I’m not sure why, I just do. I should be walking and getting miles in, I say to myself.
I walk like a fish out of water today. My legs aren’t doing what I need them to. I’m not walking very well or with any gusto. My knees are shaky and unreliable on any given step and really I’m just not into it today. Mentally I’m taking a zero and physically I should be. It’s very apparent in everything I do. I decide to call a life line and phone a friend. I text my love, Brittney, who I know will help in one way or another. She’s working today but in good news, my dear friend Dave isn’t working so I call him. Thankfully he’s happy to help!
I still need to get a few miles in and that way it’s not a total loss. I have a pick up spot in mind at the Mills River Valley Overlook, just 4.3 miles away from where I started. I decide that will do. Plus, there’s no way I was making it 13 or 16 miles anyway to a campsite. It feels like the weight of the world is in my pack. I did refill my water vessel and water bottles and got a few things for resupply at the Country Store but still, it’s as if my pack where the heaviest thing on the planet today. I’m tired, it’s heavy and I’m over it… What a combo.
Dave can pick me up and so now I still have 2.5 miles of hiking. I know I can do this I just don’t want to. But I do. I pass by a day hiker on my way up a part of the mountain and just say a brief hello. At this point I’m panting and know I’m red in the face. Not just my nose, my whole face. I can feel it. The sun is out and it’s becoming cloudy but is still so hot. As I continue up I know there will be a down soon and push on.
Along the trail there are rocks and logs to maneuver over and around and each one I look at with almost a hateful stare. I press on taking many small breaks and drinking lots of water. I meet the hiker again, Jeff, and chat for several minutes. He makes sure I find the trail after crossing the road and is laying down when I get to the overlook/ meeting place for my rescue. He and I talk and he wants to make sure I get my ride so he stays until then. It rains, motorcycles stop and people change into their rain clothes. I get in Jeff’s car when the rain comes because he so kindly offers so of course I say yes and thank him. We talk about jobs and family and trails. He’s a professor and on first day of summer break.
Dave and his daughter come to my rescue and I laugh when he gets out of the car. I told him I was there but I didn’t say I was in the car with an almost total stranger. “You’ll just get in the car with anybody!” says Dave. I give him a big hug and throw my things in the car. We’re off. They drive me to Brittneys house and I shower and get ready. Dave is taking me to dinner and to visit with Britt. I’m so happy! After dinner I come back to rest. I lay in bed and watch GOT and then I’m fast asleep.
Brittney wakes me up (I told her to) and we chat about all kinds of stuff and have beers in bed. Then, more sleep.
Miles today 4.3
Total Miles: 135.6
Day 19: Thursday, May 19th 2016
Zero day in Asheville! I get up earlier than I wanted to and start blogging. I wrote for an hour and my phone goes crazy and turns off. Doesn’t save a thing! I get frustrated and take a break. Today I lay on the couch at Brittney’s, eat pizza and drink beers and blog. We watch some movies and have a great lazy day. Just what I needed!
Total Miles: Still 135.6
Day 20: Friday, May 20th 2016
Another zero day but this time with some errands. I go to REI to get a few resupply things and trade out my MiniMo Jetboil for a new cooking system. I wasn’t loving my MiniMo and thankfully REI will let you return anything. Brittney and I lunch and I rest up a bit more. I chat with my nanny, Sharon, and it’s so great catching up. Feels like I’m back in the real world even if just for a little bit.
I have dinner with friends, Brittney, Abby and Woody and finish blogging. Later that night I’m explaining to Abby and Brittney about Troop Beverly Hills because they’ve never seen it and we decide to poke my toenail. Mainly because nothing’s happening with it yet and partly because we’re curious and hanging at home on a Friday. I get my gear ready again and before I know it, I’m ready for sleep. Back on the trail tomorrow.
Total Miles: Still 135.6