Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eleven Days of Healing

I was hiking along the ridge between Mt Sequoia and Mt Chapman when I heard footsteps behind me. I turned to look, and it was Loopy! One of my hiking partners from last spring. She was hiking from Springer to Damascus for Trail Days, "and maybe further."

It was great to hike with her and to catch up on old times. My ankle was feeling better, so I felt good about pushing my mileage up to 13 to get to the next shelter ...

You see, it's a function of policy that hikers have to stay in shelter areas while hiking thru the Smokies. That often means choosing between a 5 or 7 mile day, or maybe a 14 miler. One might be too short, the other too long, but there's no legitimate option in between ...

And one has eight days ...

The next morning, the tendons around my knee on the opposite leg were inflamed. Must have been over-compensating for my ankle ... Decided to take a zero day and rest it.

Then I decided to take another.

That second zero was the charm. I felt better and decided to take a slow day. Seven miles would get me to the last shelter in the Smokies. That'd put me within just 3.5 miles of Standing Bear Farm Hostel. There I'd take stock, and either get a shuttle towards home, or, I'd hike on towards Hot Springs.

Standing Bear is a magical place. An old tobacco farm converted into a Hostel. It has a bunkroom, a store, a kitchen and dining area, and a laundry room. And cheap bunks. All very primitive. The laundry is a washboard,  tub and hand-cranked wringer. Gator, Hawk and Trout looked after me. I spent two zeros there. My knee felt better every morning. I limped in and walked out, heading for Hot Springs...

3 comments:

  1. LDog, you still on trail? Just wondering how the hike is going. Boomer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, there are those of us who have followed your adventures and hope that you are still out there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks folks. I was, but I have since finished this year's section and am home.

    ReplyDelete