Dang… that hitch in my giddyup became too much to abide by.
By the third day out from Boots Off Hostel I knew that my wheels were running off the track. Jan Haney was on the way to rescue me just as Ron Aubert had done back in Hampton, Tennessee. All I had to do was hike another 4.6 miles along the mountain tops to the state highway. That would prove to be problematic for me. I had turned into a I want to go home to my couch for a bit wieny.
Pioneers Usta Live Here
I mentioned before that I’ve always imagined going back in time. To walk the Main Street of a old Western town, to fight a battle on Old Ironsides, to negotiate with the Indians wearing a Pilgrim hat, to work in a sardine factory for 12 cents a day….. well maybe not that. But on this day I could barely get the energy to overcome the pain to take the few extra steps to see this old chimney. I managed to do it anyway and found that it looked like every other old chimney I had ever seen. I stumbled back to the trail.
The Valley Below Teased Me with the Thought of an Escape
The thought of leaving the trail again was a massive downer. This time I would have to head home for help and that increased the chance of not returning. That thought was worse than the knowledge that I was wearing dirty underwear. Luckily Dr. Bill Chiles and P.R. Johnson, D.C. both reached out to me. Between us we worked out a plan. I might have to change my trail name from Defib to Retread but one way or another I was going to get back on the trail.
Ominous Sign of My Present State of Affairs
Martha Roberts had warned me of this. I was coming out on a highway that had the only handicapped accessible area on the entire 2,200 miles of the AT. Was it an omen? Would I need a walker the rest of the way. Are there enough Twizzlers in the world to console me. I looked forward to Jan’s arrival and yet I was a bit down. This might be the end of my journey. I hoped she was bringing Twizzlers,
The Only Handicapped Ramp on the AT.
That was it 51 days ago. Jan arrived just as a long chain of rainstorms hit again. I would be dry but I wasn’t necessarily happy about it. Jan realized that I was disappointed. She suggested food. Food fixes most everything…and so we sought out a restaurant and discussed options. We discussed the likelihood of getting back out there.
It would prove to be 51 days before that would happen but tonight I find myself lying on my back in my sleeping bag typing on my phone. Only this time it’s warm….no more than warm….and there are these little black bugs flying around me. They taste so good and remind me that at this moment I once again have the privilege of saying “hike on”.