I’m currently at a hotel in Franklin, NC. I wasn’t planning to come here until tomorrow, however I spent all afternoon hiking in a hail and thunderstorm. When I got to the shelter, I was freezing, so opted to call for a ride into town a day early. I’m showered and warm now, and will do laundry tomorrow. I may stay here an extra day, depending on how tomorrow looks. Want to find a meeting if I can.
This trail is full of interesting characters. Napster is an 18 year old kid who’s hiking. He got his name because he stops in the middle of the day, throws his hammock up, and takes naps. LDog who I hike with is a retired Navy photographer. He’s very creative, but he trashed his knee. He’s going to see a Dr. tomorrow and see if he can continue. There are a lot of people in transition in their lives on the trail. Flame is a recently laid off software engineer. Dingo is a paramedic who desperately wants to move to Flagstaff. Like any community, the trail is full of gossip. Who’s left, funny stories that happen, etc. People’s reputations precede them up the trail. If a person is dishonest, or creepy, or an ass…their rep follows them.
The trail is beautiful and challenging. It is definitely an exercise in letting go. You cannot control the trail, you have to operate from a place of full acceptance of what the trail gives you. If the trail gives you sun and good hiking…rejoice in it. If the trail gives you rain and hail, accept it and rejoice in the moment of challenge.