5: partnership shelter to Bham, AL

I crawled out of my tent this morning, and chuckled on my way to the privy.

Bodies, scattered everywhere. Tucked into their little mummy bags, hidden behind logs around the campfire, scattered throughout the grass (no tents), all snoring and wriggling and breathing. Partnership shelter was an experience. 
I had coffee with Stormtrooper. 

But soon, it was time for me to pack up and say goodbye. I knocked on everyone’s tents and bid them farewell, hoping I would see them again up north. I know they’ll all make it. 

Uncle mike was waiting for me in the lot. We headed to TN-91, trading stories. My car was waiting for me, and, as usual, so was a nice snug mouse nest inside of it. 

I hopped in and headed for Birmingham, stopping only for…

McDonald’s. I had to hurry, though, because I didn’t want to miss seeing my baby sister graduate high school. She’s not really a baby any more, I guess. 

Maybe the only thing that would have gotten me off the trail was seeing Macy graduate. It was so hard to leave. I miss it already. The rhythm and the rituals; the jokes and quips. I miss stretching my legs across a stream and I miss tilting my face up into the sun. I miss rolling over onto a root and cursing myself for not bringing gloves in the icy rain. I miss dreaming about food (I always dream about food) and looking at my miles and my guide and planning the next resupply…I miss my friends, and the strangers, and the people I haven’t met. 

Birthday Girl is ready for another hike. 

I mentioned on Facebook that you might see a shift in how I hike this summer. Virginia is quite a drive from where I live in Georgia. I can’t really justify getting up there for weekend section hikes. So I think I’ll spend the summer hiking places I’ve been before; miles I raced through or saw in winter. I might try to get involved with a little trail maintenance and, the biggest shift– I won’t always hike alone. 

But I have new miles planned too. I’ll head north for 3 weeks in August to hike around New Hampshire and Vermont, hopefully see Carpenter and maybe even Brew and Stick and Danger and RD and Stormtrooper. 

Just try and keep me out of the woods. 

Until next time, my friends! Let’s hope August speeds quickly along!

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