Left for the trail 11am (check out time). I decided to head out first since I did not see the need or want to hitch to a trail head that was just a mile away all down hill. I made it to the first shelter (Above: view by the shelter) with the expectation Apache, Forest, and NPA will be following 30-45 minutes behind me, but the longer I waited for them, I started to think they could actually be in front of me if they managed to get a hitch quickly while I was walking to the trailhead. The more I thought about it, I noticed I had signal and texted Apache, only to find out that they were all staying in town for another zero. It being 3:30pm, I decided to take advantage of the rest of the daylight at hike on. It was also kind of chilly.
While hiking on without a destination in mind for the rest of the day, I decided to hike along this guy that had been napping at the previous shelter, “Knots.” He had mentioned while in the shelter before going to sleep, he was attempting to break the unsupported record on the AT so I was very eager keep up and converse with him. I had tons of questions and time flew while we were hiking. Learned quite a lot. We had crushed 16 miles in 5 hours and oblivious to it until it started getting dark. I was very interested in the type of life style he was living on the trail and off. For example, this human takes three hour naps usually in shelters throughout the day. The longest amount of time he has slept at one time thus far was only 5 hours. There isn’t a large population of people that can accomplish this, let alone function on this type of sleep schedule and he is hiking the AT! This is insane! He had been hiking for some time too, he mentioned, he is a triple crowner. Meaning he would have hiked through, the AT, CDT, and the PTC! For the record, he hikes at an average pace, so keeping up was no problem. He was explaning to me that there is no need to run the AT to break the unsupported record, you only need to keep hiking with minimal breaks. By the time we got to the shelter, at 9:30ish that night he had completed a 42 mile day.
Turtle we passed by:
As soon as I got back on the trail, my mind had calmed. Can you imagine the possible axiety I will have off the trail when I possibly finish? I do not even want to think about it. Maybe I will be one of those people bound to going to the gym or hiking on the daily just to return to the feeling of closeness to myself when I am on the trail hiking.