Okay. That’s not even a little true. Well…maybe a little. But it’s how I definitely feel halfway up a rather grueling two mile climb to Pearis Cliffs, on a three day chunk back to Lickskillet Hostel from Pearisburg.
For whatever reason it’s been much more difficult getting our trail legs back under us this year. At least for me it has. I’m not having as much of a problem with the cough as last year, so that’s great. Nor am I having as much of a problem with my left shoulder and lower back hurting, also good. But, overall, I just feel weaker somehow.
“Oh, just wait until you hit [insert upcoming state here]” is the mantra of every hiker who has done sections beyond the one we meet them in. “You know what they call it, right?”
The Virginia Blues.
I’ve heard them all, at least a hundred times apiece.
“They’re all terrible,” I want to shout at them. “Every state is the worst state when you’re trapped in it!”
But this hindsight is omnipresent in every aspect of the trail. When I am on a steady, gradual uphill, I swear it’s my least favorite kind of climb and I would much rather it be a straight-up boulder scramble like Maine. But guess what I say when we find ourselves in the midst of a boulder scramble?
A lot of it is about perspective, I think. It’s easier to justify being out of breath and tired on a really intense climb than it is on a steady and gradual uphill. Granted it is all with a 25-30 pound pack on my back. So I guess that’s something to consider. I don’t know. It’s easy to get down about things like average mileage when you meet people, every day, doing at least double what you are.
The van was supposed to make things easier. By allowing us to keep a resupply on hand, offering a dog friendly place to sleep no matter what town we were in, and being an overall home base, it was supposed to be a way to increase our pacing and improve our quality of life on the trail. Instead, we seem to be spending more time in towns, bolstered by the guaranteed sleeping spot and absolutely incredible people we keep finding at hostels along the way. At this point I almost feel like we should just quit hiking and go work at one. Tramp did promise Honey and Bear we would come back sometime this year… and Maine trail population is picking up right about now…
I’m sorry these posts are always such a rambling mess. I really value the privacy my journal provides, so this blog has kind of become an opportunity to just stream-of-consciousness update you all on what is going on in my big ‘ol head.
EDIT 7/13/18: Apparently I am super great at not remembering to actually hit “Publish.” My b.