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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 13 Journal

"Said goodbye to the
girls camp and walked my way down to hot springs, a nice little AT town.
There were about 10 other hikers there when i arrived, but almost all
of them started to hit the trail again with in a couple hours. I did my
laundry bought food and spent way to much time copying these journals
into my blog because i have had such an adventurous last couple days. I
talked to a couple hikers in town that were going super slow that said i
should join them, but while i can't let miles become to important they
do mean something to me and i am not ready to stop yet, i need to keep
pushing on. I weighed my pack, only 30 pounds fully loaded, which is a
hell of alot better than my 50 pound pack from the prior trip. Then left
town in the late afternoon and started
trekking it up the mountain and out of town. I was very impressed with
how beautiful the north side of Hot springs was, the trail went along
the river before going back into the mountains where the fog was rising
its way up to the sky.I hiked 8.2 more miles up about 2,000
feet making it an 11.5 mile day. But... "its not about the miles its
about the smiles" :) and i got one when i got to my camp spot which was
in a fire tower on top of a mountain. Its gonna be chilly up here, but
hopefully it's worth it. I can't see anything right now, because i am
right in the middle of a cloud, but if i'm lucky when i wake up it will
be nice and clear."

Day 14 journalI'm
not lucky, the decision to sleep in the fire tower wasn't all that
great. The wind picked up and started to blow fog and drops of rain in
making all my stuff damp, and causing me to curl up in a ball in my bag.
Its a pretty warm sleeping
bag though, so it wasn't to bad of a night.I got headphones
in Hot Spings so i danced my way down from rich mountain to the next
shelter where i am refueling , marking the hiker log , and about to push
on
DJ aka Freedom Train                      GA-> somewhere
I
made it 11. 5 miles today. I cooked uo some mac and cheese for dinner .
I haven't seen anyone in 24 hours and im struggling emotionally . I
don't have anything to keep my mind occupied.I think alot of
the emotions are from pure exhaustion though, i finished before 3
o'clock today so hopefully my body will have some recovery time.I am for sure buying the hobbit when i get to Erwin in 5 days.the weather cleared up so thats nice, and i saw a turtle hiking the AT today... i almost kicked himIts
hard
reading the Hiker log and seeing that there were dozens of people here
everyday a couple months ago and now its a scattered few every week.Ive had the thought of getting a ride up to catch the pack but id raqther not, bed early tonight

Day 15 journal
" Some people came just after i fell asleep and woke me up, but it still made me happy.I still feel really exhausted, but its supposed to be scenic today
Foggy
again so i wont see much of the scenery, but its not to hot. Just
eating a cool mint choclate clif bar on white rock cliff.
I'm walking on top of an exposed ridge line, even though i can't see much i know i am in vastness.Had a humming bird fly by my head, at least it looked like a hummingbird.i can see down to the ground, just not out.I found myself today thinking about spiderwebbs and how amazing they are, i have been covered in them all week.todays hike is a good temp with a steady hi elevation, pretty relaxing
actually.When i get to Erwin to resupply in 4 days, i am
hoping to connect with my uncle who i havent seen since i was in china 3
years ago. He is just getting back from the UAE, where he is an English
teacher.Fog cleared just enough for me to see the view right as i was about to get off of the exposed ridge line!At the 300 mile mark!Sun and blue skies came eating, looking like i will finally have some nice weather.Turned
out to be a beautiful day , i enjoyed the 12.5 miles. i think i avoided
the heel blister scare from the first day, but my feet are still pretty
beat up.Nobody at the shelter right now, there is a book here but it is about the economy. Ill probably read it at some point."
Vented
into my journal about how im on an both a physical and emotionallal
roller coaster being alone so much. How i was freaking out being alone
agai, how i need companionship
in my life, and how i have to be traveling for myself and not others or
the trip won't last long..I felt alot better after venting into my journal."not freaking out now, just working on knots and chillingwasn't very hungry for dinner weird guess i need to go harder or something the chicken broccoli rice turned out perfect though.Maybe
i just need to learn to be by myself, and be happy or even just content
alone. I haven't actually been alone much in my life and when i have
been i have always just distracted myself, but there are no distractions
out here, just me and me. I need to not be afraid of feeling alone.
rather than searching for people i should be content by myself, and
happy when they show up.goodnight to me.

Day 16
So
dehydrated this morning when i woke up, i felt hung over. I am
definitely buying aqua mira when i get to town because i cant get enough
water with this crappy filter i have.
had some good dreams last night and i remember them. weird
had
good weather all morning as i climbed upward, the dark clouds are
rolling in now though., i am at a pretty scenic spot right now, i think i
see I-26 off in the distance. might pass it later today.
starting to drizzlethe
rain passed and i made it to a shelter 9 miles in gonna keep pushing on
though, the next shelter isnt for 10 miles which is pushing it but i
guess ill see how far i get.just passed a guy on the trail!!Thought i was in the middle of nowhere when a car passed me on a dirt road about a 100 feet
away... freaked me out.
passed in and out of society crossing under I-29So
i walked and i walked, i felt good so i kept going, another storm came
and passed and i just walked. I didn't want to camp in what would likely
be a rainy night so i thought if i even get with in 4 miles of that
next shelter i am going to push it out. I heard another storm off in the
distance so i walked faster, i was going to do it, it was going to be
my first 20 mile day, and it wasnt going to be because of easy elevation
either. I booked it up the mountain not stopping fopr 7 miles, and when
i finally did stop it was just for some water and a quick look at the
map. I kept going as my last bit of energy started to drain, but then i
made it to a big opening at the top of the mountain a big bald. The fog
that was around me started to pass, and i was blown away by where my
exhausted self was standing. It was probably the most majestic moment of
my life.
on one side of me was the sun lifting the fog off those mountains, on
another two sides were rolling mountains as far as i could see and on
the fourth was the applachion trail pushing on out of sight. I had
walked 18 miles up and down mountains, but i had made it to this
beautiful place where once again the fog lifted just for me..easily the
most beautiful spot on the AT so far and going to be hard to beat. i
opened up my jar of peant butter and drank some water to refuel and it
was amazing.
Today is
the day i became a true hiker. I know now that i will be doing this the
rest of my life. I went 20 miles , my longest day ever in just 9 hours
and saw mountains in a way very few people ever do, exausted and in
awe........... Majestici pushed on from big bald and met a nice couple that were high school teachers at the shelter that night
Day 17"
woke up today after rolling around last nightl, and not ready to hike
at all. It took me alitlle while but i got ready and hit the trail.
Luckily side trail and od got up earlier and headed out to break all the
spiderwebbs just for me. After about a mile and a half of more woddling
than hiking i got to a small scenic overview, i stopped for a couple
minutes then headed on slowly but surely.I just zoned out and walked and
after about an hour and a half i made it to a shelter. It was supposed
to be 10 miles to the next shelter and i had hardly gone 3 so i was
really confused, after about 20 seconds though, the sign startde looking
familiar and i realized i had turned around and done a 3 mile
circle.... a true dumbass moment.That got my head back on
straight, i was alittle more determined, and i
hope i nevertdo that again. I'm still taking it easy though and trying
to recover from yesterday, but no more mindless waddling.
Right
now i am chilling at hi rocks look out, one lone storm cloud is blowing
over and raining on me, but everything else is clear. the one cloud is
super dark though.
Got my first trail magic other than
free food from other hikers, found purified water next to the river, and
though it sounds stupid it was really nice because it was the first
time i was able to chug water in along time. i have a crappy purifier
gonna change that up in town.Crazy down por last 5 minutes of
hiking, ran into od and side trail just before they left for the
hostel. im going in the morn. nice section of trail today on the side of
a cliff and crossing back and forth over a river.i'm at the shelter alone again, im starting to get used to it now, but still dont like it. i read some from the bible
cause that was what was sitting around.
I just spent
some time looking at the map that comes aftrt erwin and it looks like i
have 5 hard steep days then everything is flat for a long time...
looking forward to it..im pretty sure erwin has a pizza buffet and a movie theater gonna check that out. and a shower im sick of smelling myself"
Day 18":
6 miles into erwin. some other hikers paid for me to stay in the bunk
house at the shelter. biked to town and resupplied. hanging around and
hearing some great stories, pizza buffet tommorow then back on the trail
Song of the day
Bright side- never shout never
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zm6i-C0p1Y
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

Nicole on

D.J. I am so impressed! Day 16 sounds so magical and others seem really hard. A lot of people in this world never learn to be alone, and I think few Americans even try. You aren't sitting around on your butt wondering - you are doing it. Be safe, thank you for inspiring me.....oh, and how about that asana practice? Probably hard to motivate after a 20 mile day. I look forward to seeing you whenever you show up. The couch is all yours, man.

Sebastian on

Hey man! What you're doing is amazing, and I'm glad it seems to be working out. I'll be keeping up with all your journals, so feel free to give me a shout out in your blogs... Where are you now (state-wise)? Anyways, make sure to keep the journals coming, and best of luck for day 19!

trackingdj
trackingdj on

i started doing some of the stretches, cat cow, reclined hand to toe, thread the needle. but i cant get myself to actually do yoga. its hard to do on my own. ill try it again soon, thanks for reading

trackingdj
trackingdj on

sorry i didnt see ya in rhode island... i was stranded. i am in Tennessee right now, a couples or so, maybe less from Virginia. ill try to keep typing them out... im a slow typer

Laura on

Love mint chocolate cliff bars!!
I really want to send you some kind of care package.. :( wish I could..
I'm glad your loving it out there! I totally get you when you say alone. It makes me really think about a bunch of stuff emotionally. Also kind of makes me a little depressed.

Aunt Doreen on

Wow your trip is amazing! Your writing is too. You share how you are feeling along with the walking. I can feel myself there seeing the scenery or see you glad that someone broke the spider webs for you! Ha! I can see you sitting alone with nothing to do wonder how to get rid of the silence, then looking forward to the crowd and pizza! Proud of you!

aunt Doreen on

I like the Bright Side song.
Yeah that's really you walking along with a back pack looking for answers and learning new things.
Good addition to your expressive blog!

Sheila LaRock on

OK I have not seen any posts lately... what is going on with ya??? It has been quite interesting to read about your journey.. Stay Safe and enjoy..BUT KEEP US POSTED!!!

Sheila LaRock on

Oh and by the way, I like the beard on ya.. You look like such a big boy!!!

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