Bushcamp (1479.5) to Bushcamp (1497)
Today is just a bad day, that’s all. I had no energy and was rather frustrated with the lack of scenery on the trail. Not to mention the humidity, I haven’t had dry clothes in 3 days. I feel like I’m being slowly broiled. Then there’s the rash between my legs. Today is just a bad day.
There might be one or two people reading this wishing to escape to a place like the Appalachian Trail. This trail is no different to life in general. There are good days, great days and crap days. Today is a crap day for several reasons. Firstly, I have no energy due to not eating any dinner last night. Secondly, I’ve been soaked in my own sweat due to high humidity for about 3 days. Thirdly, my low mood has me questioning why I’m hiking this trail. Bill Bryson called his book, ‘A Walk in the Woods’. He summed it up in the title. The Appalachian Trail is a Walk in the Woods. The visual part of my brain wants stimulation. I want views. As a result I’m struggling. I’m forced to focus on the little things to find visual stimulation.
Every Thru Hiker on every trail faces at least one moment when they question why they are there. Not just thru hikers. My explorer hero Shackleton must have faced it, so must have Hillary on Everest or Armstrong landing on the moon or any famous explorer. The big question, ‘Why’. On bad days like this I’m luckier than a lot of other thru hikers, I know why I’m out here. I love nature. And a couple of years ago I made a pledge to myself to cycle, hike and travel to the most amazing places on the planet.
Low on energy I decided to stop on a park bench next to the Housatonic River and cook up a large lunch. Alfredo pasta mixed with loads of Parmesan cheese and tuna. I was near the town of Falls Village and several friendly locals stopped to chat as they walked their dogs. It was the first meal I’d eaten in 24 hours. My body needed the calories. My sweat soaked body had the smell of ammonium. Something is not right with my body.
After a large meal I progressed a few miles and decided I’d look for a place to camp early. I made an error with judging where the next water source would be and was forced to climb up and over a large hill.
The storm hit me. Within minutes the dark clouds stole all the light and the heavy raindrops hit me. I didn’t bother with a rain jacket. I was looking forward to getting soaked. I wanted to feel cold for a change. Within minutes I was soaked and stopped to ring out the sweat and dirt from my clothes.
It was another 15 minutes until I found a stream and a flat spot for my tent. When the tent was set up I stood outside in the rain naked. I gave myself a good natural shower before drying off inside my tent. I left my clothes outside in the rain to rinse off te rest of the dirt and sweat. I’m still tired but certainly feeling more refreshed.