Controversial Opinion: I actually think Pennsylvania is blazed better for SOBOs than NOBOs. I keep looking behind me to double check for blazes.
I woke up early, mostly because I was freezing. I ate until I was warm enough to get going, and then I started hiking. 10 minutes down the trail and I look up at what I THOUGHT was a huge possum only to realize it was, in fact, A PORCUPINE!! It bristled its quills at me and I backed up quickly. Then, the thing had the audacity to actually chase me down the trail. I mean, it chased me kind of slowly, but still.
Anyways, I kept walking.
It was cold. I saw the sun rise eventually. I kept walking.
I did 9.5 miles by 10am. Not great, but ok.
I startled two deer- they were right on the trail! They ran off and then stopped to stare at me. Can you see them?
Standing on these pine needles instead of rocks seriously felt like clouds. It lasted maybe 10 steps.
I stopped for lunch at Yellow Springs.
Rausch Creek had a cool diversion well but I couldn’t get a clear picture, unfortunately. The ruins of the village were cool too.
I love being able to look ahead and see the next mountain I’m going to walk up. So inspiring. Bring it, AT. My cardio abilities are at an all-time high.
Never say a mechanical engineer can’t appreciate a nice bridge!
That moment when you’ve hiked 25 miles and it’s only 5 pm.
That moment when the trail goes straight up. At least I was listening to a podcast about the presidential debate, so I had plenty of political angst to get me through the climb.
Warning: graphic image. Imagine how startled *I* was to come across this!
So, at this point I was…oh, 28 or so miles in.
And here I am at the shelter, at 7:59, after 31.4 miles. From 5:40 am to 7:40. Not too shabby 🙂
I can’t tell if I’m alone or not. There are some boots but it’s awfully quiet.
So, not a new record like I was going for, but a much faster time than the last time I did 30+.
Sometimes people ask me how I do such big miles. Um, well, the answer goes like this (for me):
1. Start early
2. Try to get 10 miles by 10am. It’s sort of a mental thing
3. I like to take lots of little breaks. I change my socks often and rub my feet when I do that. It helps.
4. Eat constantly. Drink as much as you can. 5 hour energy helps too.
5. Podcasts and phone calls keep your mind off your feet. My feet always hurt more than my legs. In fact, my feet will hurt so much that I’m basically nauseated most of the afternoon. You just ignore it.
6. Have icy hot for when you go to bed. Your feet and legs will be throbbing. Also take a Benadryl to help you stay asleep.
7. Bask in the glory of having accomplished something so amazing. People run marathons all the time. They don’t do it while climbing mountains with 20+ lbs of gear on their backs. And then sleep outside 🙂
I’m kidding. A little. Do big miles, don’t do big miles. I think it’s kind of fun. It does hurt a lot though. And you DO have to eat constantly and that gets old.
Anyways. There you go.
MVP: croissants again. Now they’re all gone