Days 17 and 18: Hitting 200 miles

Hike Days

I did 13 miles yesterday and 17.1 miles today. Keeping my mileage lower and stopping for long breaks during the day has helped my knee a lot. I still have aching feet, and my knee still hurts but ibuprofen and lower miles help a ton!! 

It rained yesterday during the last two miles of the hike so everyone got soaked. Walked in wet socks and shoes today, but at least it wasn’t still raining! My shoes are still wet, but I’m really hoping they dry tomorrow. If you ever have the choice of getting waterproof or non-waterproof hiking shoes, do NOT get waterproof. I’m pretty sure they just hold the water in, and they take forever to dry (or at least a few days). The next shoes I get will most definitely not be waterproof.
Since I’ve stopped walking with Darwin, Snuggles and Roub, I’ve been the only girl at the shelter each night. It doesn’t bother me much and hiking alone doesn’t bother me; I just wish there were more women hikers doing the trail by themselves! Most of them are doing it with their partners, but there are a sprinkling of ladies doing it alone. It’s always encouraging when I meet another lady hiker.

Today, I walked most of the day with Billy, Hot Sauce, Craynip, Sota Sam and Jacoby. Good guys. Crazy guys. Sota Sam successfully completed the half gallon challenge today in 42 minutes. Basically, the challenge is for thru hikers to eat a half gallon of ice cream in less than one hour to commemorate being half done with the trail. Sounds miserable. Sota Sam was definitely miserable after he finished.

I stopped at this shelter after 17 miles, and they were going to go at least another 8…and maybe another 4 after that to just get into town. Even Sota Sam with a belly full of ice cream went the extra miles! My legs wouldn’t have carried me that far, that’s for sure. 

The thru-hikers have completed at least 1094.6 miles to get to the halfway point. I have done 206.8 as of today! It’s taken me longer than I expected to get to 200 miles, but that’s okay. I’m definitely learning to listen to my body and go at my own pace. I get the sense that I’ll end up going more miles more quickly in the end if I take it easy now. 

   Weather forecast for the next week. Ha!

  The hills are alive with the sound of electricity

 Beautiful Mountain Laurel in full bloom! I’d kill to have flowers grow this easily in my yard!

 Mountain Laurel again. So pretty!