Day 18 (Mile 189.0 – 202.5):

Today is the first day I had no privy access (out house) to do my business in just to let the world know. Not as hard as I thought it would be. Pain to dig the 6″ deep cathole, but at least now I feel 10 pounds lighter. ^-^

In other news, I also happened to get to the highest point of the Appalachian Trail, Clingman’s Dome. Very fortunate to be here on a beautiful day!

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Finished “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay. My friend Conor was certainly right about how I would feel after finishing this book. I am going to feel like I am holding off my future while hiking this trail. Luckly though, I read this book in my twenties.  For now, I’ll just think about my next moves.

Having thoughts of quitting, not b/c I am behind or struggling, but b/c I want to spend time with the girl I asked out before this trip. I knew these thoughts would start to haunt me on the trail when I got past the physical barrier of my journey so in the love letter I had written prior to my trip, I asked if she could hold her answer until I had finished hiking. If that answer was a yes, you bet you I would want to be off this trail spending/building as much time as I could with her. Not knowing helps. Knowing would mess with my headspace on the trail, resulting in a decision I may end up regretting later in life.

Very social tonight. Hanging out with Apache again tonight in the shelter. Some others too…Morgan (trail runner) , Radiance (Schuyler)…which I have met before, but really getting to know now, Justin, and a couple more too…all talking right now.

Was brainstorming whether or not to stay in town a couple of days, for it will be raining bad for the next 3 days in low temperatures in the low fourties, wind gusts as fast as 70 mph, and may even snow at high elevations.  I do not want anything to do with the cold wet weather so it has been decided I will be splitting a room with Apache, Radiance, NPA (not sure of her real name), and Gains (Tony) in Gatlinburg.  Sooo many good eats there…so excited!

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