While the majority of people in the area take zeros in Franklin, I am resting (lazy day) at the Long Branch Shelter.
Three miles from my destination, I decided to take a lunch break here. The shelter was so new and close to a water source, I decided to cut my day even shorter and set up camp here. Taking this short day allowed me to breathe. Relax…actually enjoy my trip on the Appalachian Trail. Lately, I have been in a mentally bad place. Things have felt rushed. The trail is also long, really long and if you don’t enjoy hiking doing the same thing day in and day out, one can lose their peace of mind. I needed a shorter day for another reason too. Not that I thought I was capable in the first place, but I was unable to convince Gazelle to keep hiking so she is now off the trail to now hike the AT in sections. Why do I need the time? Gazelle, was not only fun to hike with but also a motivation of mine in a sense to keep pushing forward as fast as I have been. Simply, it gets lonely and the idea of pushing to eventually keep pace with someone I vibed with has basically pushed me. Here is a picture with the sun for the first time in probably three days.
My trail name is officially Macon Bacon. It spread like wildfire and that is just how most people know me on the trail so I am just going to accept and commit to it.
As always, meeting more and more people. Impossible to be alone, but possible to be lonely if there isn’t a person hiking along with you vibe with.