There are loads and loads of blue berry bushes around and we sometimes have to force ourselves to walk on as one can stand for hours picking these little berries by the handful. Here is Trevor ignoring the weight on his back while feasting away.
I zoomed in when I took this photo but the lake (yes it is not a river) is huge. There are the most beautiful lakes around.
Shortly after we started walking this morning we crossed paths with 6 older ladies on a week long hike. They were so admiring and encouraging of our thru-hike, and the one said to me “you look so strong”. As we walked on I cried. I felt everything but strong, I feel tired and weak. I get to a rock that I have to scramble up/down and I do that and when just after that there is another one and another one and another one I wonder how many more times my body will still obey me and do this. I am certainly no longer strong.
From the rain last night everything was extra muddy and slippery and though I tried to be deliberate with each step, during a long and steep climb downhill I slipped and fell down a smooth rock face. My guardian angels were on duty, I grazed my knee but nothing more serious than that to report.
About an hour later – on a much less hazardous strip of trail – I slipped on a small rock and ploughed down in a pool of mud. Same knee took a knock, cuts and bruises and some bleeding, and a previously injured rib got another thump which hurt a bit, but as with the earlier fall, no serious consequences. This time I cried though. I’m not sure why, maybe in frustration that nothing on this damn “hike” is easy, maybe because my knee hurt, maybe because there is no dignity left when you are lying in the mud…. At least the crying got me some sympathy from Trevor 😀.
Not too long after this we crossed a small road where somebody left 2 chairs, 2 benches and a cooler box with sodas and water and peanutbutter sandwiches and snacks. We sat down and ate a few things and had a soda and I got my composure back.
After this treat I felt much better. Walking all the way from Georgia to Maine is TOUGH, but magical, and people are so captivated by the magic of it that they participate by offering the weary hiker trail magic and some days (like for me today) the offering helps keeping the magic alive.
We walked up another 200m hill where the trail crosses a busy road. There is a bench where hikers can sit and view the lake (no place for cars to park so the bench is really for us) in my photo above. We sat on the bench for a while and when we got going a car stopped (in the road) and the driver opened his window and offered us some snacks.
We walked into the woods again and at a signpost there was a zip lock bag with (now only a few small pieces left) chocolate chip cookies in with this hand written note:
“Dear AT thru-hiker – I hope your hike has been wonderful and that you will have many memories from this experience. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed baking these cookies for you – Trail Angel.”
And that was when I cried again.