Zen and I left late morning for the next gap, we wanted to get some big mile sin from our down time. Pushing hard, we talked as the trail grayed away from us. We didn’t notice the terrain after a while, we just talked and enjoyed each others company. Still I felt off, more off than I had the day before. These feelings of despair and worn down were growing each day. I didn’t want to finish, not to say I wanted to quit, I just did not want to hike anymore. I was so unsure of why i was feeling this way. Nothing I did was able to shake the feelings from gripping me tight, suffocating me. That was all I thought about, just stopping for a while and doing nothing.
When we finally made it to our halfway point for the day, I was so worn out. Mentally I could go no further. My body was tired, my spirit was tired and to make matters worse I was feeling sore. Trying my best to stay in the game, we refilled and prepared to hike out. Just then another hiker friend of ours came over and told us there was beer coming. Just the excuse I needed to not take any more steps for a while. Sitting there waiting, a young woman walked by and I struck up a conversation. Before long she joined us in our waiting of the delicious trail magic that was on its way. I reveled in the company and sitting. it was more enjoyable to me than many other things right now.
The trail magic came and went and we sat there drinking our beer, just taking in the summer afternoon with each other. Our friend decided he didn’t want to hike to the next spot, only 5 miles away and as demotivated as I was, I joined him. Shannon graciously gave us a ride to the lake and we talked on the car ride there. She was very interested in hiking and wanted to know all about our adventure. it seemed as if she was looking for something in her life just as we were in ours.
Not being able to say goodbye, we goofed off by skating on her rip board, or should I say me learning to not fall on my ass. I noticed that her trunk was full of an assortment of fun things to do, picking up the two baseball gloves we naturally flowed into a game of catch for the next half an hour. Throwing the ball back and forth I felt at home, each throw bringing me back to where I used to be. With all good things, they must come to an end, she had a date to get to and I had a shower calling my name. Saying goodbye, we parted ways and I was soon getting cleaned up, hoping to stay in that frame of mind.
I needed some downtime, I had been pushing so hard for so long that I truly needed a break from this venture. The only problem was i just didn’t know it at the time. I was still lost in the despair once the fun drifted away for the afternoon. Cleaned up and body refreshed I looked at the other hikers when a woman offered to take us to town. I couldn’t resist, I didn’t ask for it, the ride appeared. Who knew where this might lead. Taking every opportunity for a new adventure the three of us, Lucky Charms, Fancy Pants, and I were off down the road.
Soon we were definitely on an adventure, she was a maniac behind the wheel to say the least. Fancy and I hung on for dear life as she jolted forward and backward. Each turn she took was at full speed, whipping us left and right. Even on the straights she was swerving hard in the lanes. I couldn’t even think for a second as I texted a friend back home. Mid text all I could think about was telling him that I might die and that I loved and missed him. Quickly i followed suit with my family and friends. She was terrifying to be in the car with, driving her minivan like a Ferrari.
Happy to be out of the car we each kissed the ground when we got out, thankful to be alive and in one piece. I couldn’t remember a time where I thought I was surely not going to live through the event. Saying goodbye we all thought of one thing, pizza and beer. The desire to numb our nerves was so strong we drank a few beers immediately. It would be a few hours before zen caught us, there was only one thing to do then. Relax, and I did just that, playing beer pong, eating and setting up my camp, before going to bed for the night.
2 thoughts on “Let’s take a ride”
It’s only August. No snow and ice in Maine until October, maybe. Why not take a week or 10 days and loaf. Start on that novel. Write poetry just for fun. Read a book or two. Before you know it you will be missing your hike and realize just what it has meant to you and how much the rest of the AT has to offer. The next mountain view, the next town, the next hiker you will meet. Find out their stories, what moves them along, what their dreams are. What her phone number is…
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Thanks Mike for the encouraging words. I did just that. Received some sweet magic and spent two days at a private lake enjoying the solitude.
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