Friday, 4/17

AT Miles = 17.0 / 356.9
Other Miles = 0 / 15.2
Total Miles = 17.0 / 372.1

The weather today is exactly what you woulkd envision if you were to imagine a splendid spring day on the AT. The sky was blue, the sun was warm with just a slight breeze, and the views from the top of Beauty Spot were fantastic.

I started the day a bit melancholy and homesick, and I decided that with the great weather I would not set a goal for the day but rather simply walk at a comfortable pace, stop whenever I felt like it, and get as far as I get.

I spent almost two hours at Beauty Spot, eating lunch, enjoying the views, and even nearly falling asleep. I would have slept except that a little gust if wind came up and blew my hat off my face, and the sun was bothersome enough in my eyes that I had to get up and retrieve my hat.

While I was lying there in a near stupor I decided that I was going to have a super lazy day and hike the half mile down to Beauty Spot Gap, hang my hammock in some nice sunny place, and spend my afternoon lazing in the hammock reading "Cannery Row." Alas, the best laid plans and all that. When I got dowsn to the Gap I saw that the spring and camping area was directly next to a road. Camping next to a road is bad policy in general, and especially on a Friday night, so I switched to Plan B and hiked the six or so miles on to here; Cherry Gap Shelter.

I dealt with the homesickness pretty well and it didn't take over my day, but it does worry me. This is the thing that I think is most likely to cause me to abandon my hike, and the hike really is important to me (though I am not sure exactly why), so I don't want that to happen.

I imagine this separation is even harder on Jodi than it is on me. She is going to work every day and coming home to an empty house every night. I at least am off on some sort of pseudo-adventure, and experiencing a new place every day.

While I was hiking today I was thinking how great it would be if my car was parked at the end of the dasy and I could hop in and drive home and take a shower, then eat dinner with Jodi, sit on the couch with her leaning against me watching an episode of Deadwood, then go to bed and sleep with her in my arms. Instead, I ate some instant potatoe with slices of summer sausage in it, and will sleep in my hammock all alone.

There is a hostel a few miles north of here and some southbound hikers told me they stopped there at lunch time today and the woman that runs the hostel made sandwiches and burgers and such for them. That sounds like a great idea and I think it is highly likely I will stop there tomorrow. A big greasy cheeseburger sure sounds more appetizing than a tortilla with Nutella, doesn't it?

Allen Freeman