Instead of boring you with the details of my tenth day on the trail, I thought I might share some thoughts from my first ten days on the trail.
Everything I brought is performing well. The pack is chafing my left hip, but it’s nothing to write home about. The sleeping bag is warm, but I could have got away with bringing a 30-degree bag instead. I brought just enough clothes, two pairs of sockets is plenty. The 6-liter water bladder has been useful in three situations now, and I’m glad I didn’t opt for less storage. 20,000 mAh of USB power has been sufficient. Aside from lighter gear, there isn’t anything I’d change with my setup. As the days wind on, the pack feels lighter and lighter.
So far, so good. I didn’t get my first blister until day 9 and it was due to the heel of my insole shifting inward which left the outer heel on my left foot vulnerable to friction between the insole and the upper. I realigned the insole and haven’t had a problem since.
My knees and feet are doing better than expected, however, the inside tendons just above the ankle of my left leg have been sore for a few days. I’m not certain that it is in-fact the tendons, but the discomfort comes as and goes throughout the day steering my away from the idea that it might be shin splints or a stress fracture. Due to my stubbornness with injury, I won’t know until either it disappears or I can no longer walk.
I’m absolutely loving the trail so far. The grade is courteous, the views are astounding and the people are tolerable. I’ve been able to camp under the stars for seven nights and it’s so much more interesting than sleeping in a tent on a tree-covered mountaintop in the Appalachians. Some hikers are steering clear of camping outside of the four walls of their tents because of snakes, scorpions, mice, et al. but the critters haven’t gotten me yet. Until I cross that bridge, the bivy will stay.
The heat is going to be a struggle until mile 700, but provided I continue to rise early each morning, I can budget in a three-hour mid-day break.
I keep asking myself if there’s any place I’d rather be right now and I’ve been coming up empty throughout the trip.
I want to apologize about the quality of the content in each post so far. At the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is to pull out the keyboard. Most entries are written a few days after the fact, but I’ll work on doing so in a more cathartic nature in the future.