Bambi or Jarryd: who to cry about? – 10 Jun

Late yesterday afternoon a guy arrived (soaking wet) at the hostel. He sat down on the bench in the wet room (where you enter the hostel and where you leave your shoes and wet/muddy stuff) and asked for the owner. Somebody said they think there are no more bunks available and he just put his head on his knees. When Mike (the owner) said he can fit one more person in he said “thank heavens”.

Later during the evening I sat next to him ( in the ridiculously tiny chill area: sleeping bunks for 12 but chairs for 4 only) and chatted a bit. He wants to section hike (for about 3 weeks) from here to his home in Pensylvania. He met his wife when they were 14, later they married and they have 15 and 17yr old kids. He said to me he has always been a husband and a father, and that he decided to do this so that he can just feel how it is to be Jarryd.

Yesterday was his first day of hiking (well the first day on his section hike and also the first hiking day in his life: he has never hiked before!!!). He got wet and he got blisters – when he walked into that hostel he was a beaten man. My heart is bleeding for this guy: he set off to feel what it would be to be just him, not being defined by being husband and father – and the universe just whipped his ass. He said he wouldn’t walk today – there was heavy rain predicted for the day and his blisters were bleeding. I wonder if he will phone his wife and ask her to fetch him. Or whether he will start again tomorrow and give it another bash. I’m so scared he will go home and feel that the “he himself” failed. It is amazing that people can have this romantic notion of the AT, that you can just come and walk it and find yourself; even though you might have never hiked before.

Trevor and me, we just did the same as most other days – put our packs on and walked; only difference is that it is little fun in the rain (remember Just A Body Walking). When we stopped for lunch we were so cold that we couldn’t open the bear vaults to get our food out: our hands were totally numbed. Amazing when we had a heatwave few days ago!

Trevor is very happy as he bought new shoes yesterday and says that for the first time his feet feel good. Me on the other hand; I got an ugly blister today. We did a very short day – 24km only as Trevor switched to a different style shoe which put more strain on the achillis tendon and he wanted to ease into it. I was thankful for the short day because my blister is hurting! But the next two days we plan 32km per day again.

Whilst walking in the rain we saw a deer mom standing in the path, at a baby lying in the path. When she saw us she ran off. We stepped over the baby deer, it was alive but we suspected it was busy dying. I wanted to pick it up and to cradle it in my arms so that it didn’t have to die cold and alone. But of course nature must take its course so I didn’t. I hope the mom went back to be with it after we moved out of the area.

So I was walking in the rain being sad about Jarryd and being sad about Bambi and feeling sorry for myself with my sore toe. And the rain and mistiness creates a sad, nostalgic atmosphere. I suppose it is not to be expected to always have sunshine and happiness, being sad in the rain also shapes who we are.

We are camping at one of the oldest shelters on the trail today – apparently built by funds from a cc set up by Roosevelt :


5 thoughts on “Bambi or Jarryd: who to cry about? – 10 Jun

  1. You know Ria, I think you are going to have to start an analytics blog or something when you are back so as not to waste your talent. Shame, I really felt like i was sitting across from poor, soaking Jarryd


  2. Another great post Ria. Perhaps you will keep blogging even when you have returned to “normal” life? Why not? 🙂


    1. Thnx Richard – it’s so easy to blog when there are so many things to tell; my workday at office is less fun!


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