Day 7

Today was the day I really got started.

I was up at dawn getting all my things packed up and tidying up the cabin I had stayed in for 3 nights. Porridge, fresh banana (bought for me by Baltimore Jack when I refused a free hot dog) and real coffee for breakfast, luxurious since I don’t even have breakfast on trail.

I checked out at 8.30am and wandered up to Mountain Crossings. Yak was there and asked how the pack test had gone. I took off my pack and shook my hand out since it had started up in the 5 minute walk over. So we moved my gear over to my new pack to see if it would fit. The Granite Gear Blaze AC 60 is the new pack. Sadly they didn’t have a ULA Circuit in medium with J-strap in stock so the Blaze it had to be. A bit of Tetris play to get it all in plus a couple of items now have to go in my trouser pockets as the Blaze has no hip belt pockets but everything is secondary to losing an arm.

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By 10 I was all set. Having jettisoned a few more smaller items (um, food mostly) my pack weight without water was down to 21lb. I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of a successful day and if it meant going a bit hungry then so be it.

I shook Yak’s hand in thanks – he’d spent about 3 hours with me and was always positive and helpful – and set off FINALLY beyond Mountain Crossings where it felt like I’d been stuck for ages.

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Finally leaving Mountain Crossings

I had no fixed plan for how far to hike today. I just knew if I was still pain-free after an hour then everything might be ok after all.

And so it proved. By lunchtime I was more concerned with how exhausting the hiking was than my arm. By evening I was simply exhausted, having finally experienced a normal day of hiking the AT. I camped at Low Gap, mile 43.2. It will get close to freezing tonight and then tomorrow may be wet but warmish.

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13 thoughts on “Day 7

  1. So glad you have (hopefully) solved the problem. But don’t go without food for too long as that in itself makes you exhausted. Views are beautiful. Well done for not giving in.

  2. Good news…keep at it! Hoping you continue well and have an amazing time.Sending ‘virtual’ chicken soup!! love Mandy x

  3. Great news you finally been able to get going, the views look amazing. Hope the weather stays good & you can make up some lost time. Stay safe & good luck for the rest of the trip.

  4. Huzzah! Glad you got the pack worked out.

    Just found your blog while reading updates from Wired on her blog. I think this year I will mostly be following the two of you through your travels. Someday when my kids are out of the house I hope to follow in your footsteps on the AT. For now, I will have to follow others blogs from my cubicle (Software developer).

    Stay safe! Good luck.

  5. Huzzah! Glad you got the pack worked out.

    Just found your blog while reading updates from Wired on her blog. I think this year I will mostly be following the two of you through your travels. Someday when my kids are out of the house I hope to follow in your footsteps on the AT. For now, I will have to follow others blogs from my cubicle (Software developer).

    Stay safe! Good luck.

  6. Discovered your blog when I was reading one of Wired’s posts as well. I’ve been reading a lot of your articles and just now am getting a chance to start reading about the actual hiking. Sounds like a rough start but I’m glad everything got worked out (or so I hope since I’m a month behind in reading.) I just bought my girlfriend the Blace A.C. pack while down at Trail Days. She went with a 40L since I’ll be stuck carrying the tent and cooking system (lucky me). I’m hoping hers will be big enough and I’m hoping it ends up being a good pack. Let me know what you think.

    1. Hi! I preferred the Mariposa a lot but the Blaze doesn’t actually cause me permanent nerve and tissue damage so thumbs up there! I want to try and attach an Evernew reservoir on the outside over the mesh pouch. I saw Garnet Turtle do this and it looked great. But Damascus was out of stock so still a plan. I wish one of the Blaze side pockets was double height and I wish the central outside pocket was much wider. And it has no hip belt pockets which is a bit rubbish really. So, not really a fan I guess! Just carrying it 2200 miles!

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