Man, I can't believe how long it's been since I've hiked. For over a
week I have been a total sloth, and it's really making me a cranky,
hard to live with, person.

Well, on Sunday I am heading back to Virginia and come Sunday night I
should be hanging in my hammock somewhere along the AT. I just booked
a flight to Charlottesville, VA, and have arranged to get a shuttle
from there back to the Three Ridges Overlook on the Blue Ridge
Parkway, which is where I got off the trail last Thursday morning. My
flight doesn't touch down in Charlottesville until about half noon, so
it will be well into mid-afternoon before I get hiking. Since it's
about 14 miles from the overlook to the first shelter north, I expect
I will be hanging my hammock somewhere other than a shelter or
campsite. No worries, all I need is a couple of trees and I'm good.

I drove out to the Blue Hills and walked the 4+ miles around Ponkapoag
Pond this afternoon. Oh boy, was that strange! My knees were wonky,
and my calves ached by the time I was done! I sure hope I can get back
into the swing of hiking without too much difficulty.

Tomorrow I am driving down to Connecticut to visit Anju and the baby
again, then hustling back to Boston in time for Friday night Date
Night with Jodi. On Saturday I'll shop for food for the hike through
Shenandoah National Park, and get my pack squared away. I will also
head to the post office and send my bounce box off to Front Royal, at
the northern end of SNP. Then on Sunday morning Jodi will drop me at
the airport and I'll be on my way.

I got an email today from CuppaJoe and Paulman. They are in Front
Royal taking a zero day. I feel like I should be there as well, and
that I am somehow behind schedule. That's silly, and I know I am
making good time and right on target to make it to Katahdin sometime
in September, but I struggle everyday with this feeling that I am
falling behind just becausse I haven't been hiking for a week. I ope I
can put this unease to rest soon, as it sure could ruin a hike!

Allen F. Freeman