March 18, 2000

Big Spring Shelter, NC 20 Miles Hiked Today 98 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Trail magicWhat a day! Started out at 7:30 in 24 degree weather. Caught up to "Yonk" (great guy - 55 years old) and headed out. My knees hurt bad and I was thinking about how long I could take it when lo and behold, trail magic. Someone had put two coolers near a forest service road. PB&J, tootsie rolls, cookies, bananas, apples, cokes, and Ibuprofen. How awesome! I ate, took some Ibuprofen and we headed out. Then, miracle of miracles, my knees quit hurting for most of the day. We did 19.3 miles, plus I did some extra to get H20! If I feel this good more often no one can stop me. At the end, we had to go straight up to get to the shelter, but since we heard it was going to rain all night, felt it was worth it. It is so far.

View atop Standing Indian MountainThe people at this shelter (way overcrowded) are jacked. Eight or so guys doing weed and mushrooms in the rain. Idiots. I am finding that a good percentage of thru-hikers are unstable. They either have no jobs, poor family lives, few friends, do drugs (a lot) or some combination thereof. Normal people or retirees are outnumbered. The day-hikers help balance the numbers.

12 miles tomorrow in the rain. I hope Yonk and I lose these guys and my legs feel good again. On to Katahdin -- one step further is one step closer.

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