A day in the life of team Holmes on the AT – Ria

If you go back to the Dog post : picture of Camel now included.

Thought I should give you the run down of a “Normal” day – that is a non-refueling/non-0/non-rain day. Though it is poetic licence to talk about non-rain as normal, but what the heck, let me ease you into this.

It gets light real late now, but we try to get walking round 7h30, when it is just about getting light. That means we should get going by headlamps around 6h15-ish. I know that sounds crazy, it’s hardly as if I need time for blow-drying my hair! But that’s really how long it takes to get up and pack up.

It goes like this: Sit up in tent and change from pjs (thermal underwear) to hiking clothes (the same clothes you changed out of last night sitting up in the tent). Stuff sleeping bag and silk inners (which gets washed when laundry gets done and allow you to go to sleep muddy without messing up your sleeping bag) into its bags and into dry sacks (guaranteed to keep things dry). Crawl out of Tent, fetch the bear vaults (I will do a post on the bear vaults soon), get out the breakfast bars and snacks for the day, maybe make coffee (if you have enough water), take down the tent, pack the backpacks and you are good to go.

Then +/- 8 hours of walking. We have a little 10min rest every 3km. Check for signal so you can get updated weather forecast, force down some water, have a boiled sweet or baby Snicker. Saddle up and get going again. Quick chat when you come across others on the trail (I even met a truck driver from Alaska! And an ancient looking guy called Chuck Wagon) Looking at the views, counting how many snails you step over in 100 steps, think about Mom, and friends, and family, and life. Then lunch (depending on presence/absence of trail magic): cheese and little savoury crackers. Maybe coffee if you skipped breakfast coffee. Then onwards again.

By 16h-ish (with a standard deviation of an hour) you find a camping spot, pitch the tent, make the beds (lay out sponge mattresses and roll out sleeping bags). Cook (2min noodles mixed with bag of tuna and a packet of peanuts), wash up (very complex, morsels of leftovers must be buried, soap – even the green soaps- not allowed near the water sources so you fill your waterbottles and go and wash away from the stream) and then ur done with your day job.

My least favourite surface to walk on – roots.

As it is still light you can hang around outside but the evenings are quite chilly so you often crawl into the tent by 18h. Sit up straight and change into your pjs and…. Go back to the start of the blog πŸ˜€

It is tough. We are now doing 20-24km a day, need to get to an average of 25 soon. There is very little flat surface walking, it’s up, or down. And down, or up. But there is a beautiful simplicity in the rhythm of the day. Walk eat walk eat sleep. Tomorrow the same. It makes you feel small and it makes you feel big. And – when you are not too tired to feel anything, it makes you feel happy.

It’s just the nights that are long. 12 hours on the ground in a tent. But it is interesting how, as you wake throughout the night, you can feel how your legs feel more repaired with every wake-up. It’s the 3am wake-up when your legs feel fine which is a killer, as you have 3 more hours before you can sit up in your tent and change out of your pjs (oh, i have been here before)

3 thoughts on “A day in the life of team Holmes on the AT – Ria

  1. Been looking forward to a post like this, where we get to picture your day πŸ™‚ and so compellingly described, thank you. Standard deviation, hahaha, of course! I remember catching you drawing sums in the dirt in Nelspruit. Sigma might just have to stick as your second name. Jozi Sigma?

    Liked by 2 people

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