The excitement of the trail, quickly turned in to, damn I’m getting old. Which computes to out of shape.
I haven’t really expressed how hard the beginning of any hike on the Appalachian Trail is.
Being from Northern Minnesota, a body kind of gets used to cool weather. So, going from 30 degrees to 70, well it feels hot. Then add a 25 lb backpack. It started at 21, but there is always last minute “stuff” and water. I find out within minutes of the climb, in the sun, with no breeze that I wish I was still close enough to a garbage can or hiker box so I could get rid of the last minute stuff and even a few more items.
About 10 minutes later, if that, that pack is weighing on my shoulders and hips in a way that leaves bruises behind. Then the knees start to ache and the big toe nails start to throb.
Damn that sun, I think I’m going to puke that 12 ounces of water I just guzzled. I’d like to stop on this incline, but if I do, oh the strain on the back of the legs.
When I finally get to stumble into camp at 4 pm. Every part of my body is on fire and throbbing.
I start chanting, “Vitamin I, Vitamin I, a healthy supply of Vitamin I!”
On the trail Vitamin I refers to ibuprofen. Don’t leave home without it.
Hiker midnight is, well for me it is 7:30 pm. That just means that when I finally get to lay down in my tent after supper, it’s way past my bedtime.
Within a short time I fall asleep. I wake up to the sound of Spirit’s air mattress having the air let out and I know I over slept.
Time to get up and repeat yesterday. Hikers say after repeating this routine for 5 weeks you will get your stride. Hmm, this time I’m here for 4. Looks like I’m up a creek without a paddle.