|Our Trail-Master and good friend, Jack D of Shipslog|
Attempting to get a signal on his cell-phone
|Mark, Jackie and Sherry the morning we began our hike|
|Jack, Gordon, Me, Mark at the beginning of our trek|
The sign says
It's only 3.3 miles to the shelter where we will camp
the first night
|Gordon getting settled into the shelter|
To sum it up, it took me 5 hours to lead the group in to the first shelter where we camped for the night. I had begun to run out of steam by the time we got through the bog; the first hurdle along the trail, which took about an hour of walking. Did I say walking? It was more like slowly creeping as I tentatively sought for a solid place to plant my hiking stick without it sinking into the marsh from six inches up to two feet! I would say hahaha - but it wasn't funny at that time. Plenty funny now that I'm safely home anmd sitting in the comfort of my office.
After reaching what I think was about the half-way point I became over-heated, so much so that my glasses had gone from fogging over to being wet and streaked completely with sweat. When I stopped and took a drink from my canteen I decided to pour some water on my head and face. Steam flew into the air like you had poured ice onto a hot Model A Ford engine. (Well, that's what it seemed like to me.) I was nauseous. I felt I would surely lose my lunch. My pack felt like it weighed 450 lbs instead of the 48.5 lbs that the airport scale had showed.
At that point, my good friend Jack insisted that we swap packs. I believe his pack weighed 30 lbs or less. He carried my pack and I carried his for a couple of hours. Then Jack's son, Mark sped on ahead to the shelter and hung his pack in a tree before returning to take the pack I was carrying on the rest of the journey. I knew at that point that I was not ready yet to hike the entire trail on this trip so decided that if we could possibly get a cell-phone signal that I would do the smart thing and go back out in the morning.
Sure - I struggled with my male ego before making this decision. The "man" in me wanted to "do it or die" but I thought - I don't have to die from my an attack of over-grown ego. Ha. Common sense told me to let the others go on and for me to turn back. I was to learn from Jackie (Jack's first-born son) that this was not "common sense" but rather "uncommon sense". Just like his Dad! Always trying to make others feel better about themselves.
More to follow. However, I can't wait to show you the Tee Shirt that Frances bought for me and presented to me when I reached home!
|I had seen this shirt in Gatlinburg, TN and remarked to |
Frances over the phone that I wished I had bought it.
So appropriate for a beginning of an
Addicted Trail Hiker!
Don't you think?