I can hardly wait for this weekend when I get to see Christian! He has not been gone a month yet, but we are both losing track of days. I feel like he has jumped into the parallel world of “A Wrinkle In Time” and I am watching the skies and awaiting his return.
I am a fairly independent person, but there are days when I miss my husband so intensely. Last night I rolled over to his side of the bed and caught a whiff of his pillow, which still smells like him, and I missed him all the more. Unfortunately, I can guarantee he no longer smells that good in person. Days without showers and pouring sweat are not kind to the olfactory system of others.
We have picked up several new readers and I would like to welcome you into our little family. Your encouragement and support truly does keep him focused. Thank you.
Poplar Stamp Gap, 3/19-3/20
I set up camp by a nice family and their two boys, a high school sophomore and a nine year old. They are, with their school district’s blessings, homeschooling their children this Spring semester and next Fall so they can hike the AT as a family. What fantastic parents! It gives me hope that my wife and I will one day go against the grain and give our children some wonderful experiences like that.
I’m doing well, though it did threaten rain today with thunder echoing in the hills. There is a feeling here of just how small we are when nature begins to show strength and power. There is literally nowhere to run or hide. One simply submits.
I left my last camp sometime before 11 a.m. and I planned to walk until 2 p.m. and stop for lunch. But, some people from the AT Class of 09 were performing Trail Magic. I was gifted with two or three Sprites and dozens of Halloween- sized candies which ended up being enough to tide me over until dinner. At dinner, I ate my dinner and my uneaten lunch. I’m beginning to get that not-so-mythical “hiker apetite” I’ve heard so much about. Awww, just one cow for dinner?
Tomorrow, I may try for Rocky Mountain, which is 9.7 miles further ahead. I broke the first 50 miles. Only about 43 more times that to go. Hopefully, my pace starts picking up. I would like to see my wife before the year is out. Actually, I fear she will come looking for me if I am not back by Fall, so I have no choice. She is just as determined that I get home in a timely manner and in one piece as I am to complete this trail.
Today was also day 7. I’ve now been on the trail a continuous week. A week in a tent, a week of camp food, a week of filtering water, a week without shaving, and a week without bathing. I don’t know what I smell like (or what I look like), but my skin is taking on a rather weathered appearance.
There are three things one continually thinks about on the trail regardless of the time of day.:
“I wonder if there is any way to lighten my pack?”
“Will I find water at the next source that is indicated in the Guidebook?”
“I wonder how many miles I can make today?”
We try not to imagine how many miles we have left. That would only discourage our endeavor. I believe this is the reason many have quit and gone back home already.
Listening to the family camped beside me this morning made me so very grateful for one thing, my sense of smell is absolutely terrible. They are talking about how badly they smell themselves. It is all very good natured and I am happy to hear their sounds of normalcy. It is often silent here.
As I set off again, I notice how terrible the pollution is. Even here in this “national wilderness”, I can hardly see the next ridge-line because of the smog in the air. The whole trip has been like that in some parts. I was hoping the rainstorm the other day cleared it up, and it is better, but only somewhat improved. It is such a shame, all of the beauty here is literally blanketed in a haze of grey.
1:17PM Blue Mountain Shelter
I came into an empty shelter without a water source, even though the Guidebook says there is water here. I meet a gentlemen from New York City, another from Puerto Rico, and the family I slept beside last night.
I cook my lunch by boiling water and adding a Knorr side dish and couscous. And, then I move on. I heard about a church pick up in Union Gap at 9:30 AM for breakfast, and although I would love to fellowship about the Word, how likely is it that I will be up and ready to go by then? I hike on.
The donation totals did not change today. I attribute this to Spring Break. I will repeat the last blog post total of $2,365. We still need $2,635. Thank you to those who have supported us. Please mail donations to: Christian Torp, P.O. Box 861, Lexington, Ky. 40588.