Sunday, April 15, 2012

North to south and back again

On Saturday we walked the Richard Martin Trail from TN to Athens and back.  It was a little over 25 miles.  I was pretty ready to be done at 18 miles...

Me at 14 miles.  I thought I would look much worse, as I was getting tired by then.  That's Matt way back there, he had gone off to get a geocache.

I tried to get a better shot of this, I am just too short.

Matt got much closer than I did to the snake.  I kept thinking it might move and I would have freaked out.  Something about an animal that is propelled via no legs and uses it's head as hands just skeeves me out, even though I would never kill a snake and really do understand they have a place in the world, I still don't want one too close...

This is more my speed!  It's bluestar or Amsonia and it grows near water and is quite tall.

Grandfather and grandson.  The little boy was sweetly chatty at the southern end while we all rested up.  He said, "Ya'll look like you're camping!"  We said we were walking end to end and back and needed packs to carry our water.  He said, "I saw you sitting on a bench by the trail back there."  I confessed that sitting by the trail was my favorite part of hiking. 

We saw about 20 horses, 4 people on bikes and one man jogging.  We also saw a snake, butterflies galore, deer, squirrels, dogs, a rainbow scarab beetle and signs of fox, mainly loads of fox poop.  We also saw a horse in a pasture pee and it went on for an incredible amount of time.  She parted her legs and squatted down like Jess and Zeph!  Then she finished up and turned and looked at us like, "Well, freaks!  Did you enjoy that show!?"  I guess it was a little odd that we were so amazed.  hahaha

Swamp on the southern end of the trail, that black water gives me the heebie jeebies.
Sunset. We stepped off the trail to a field that's for sale to take this one.  Walking back up the little rise, I told Matt to go on ahead and I would keep walking and he could come back for me with the van.  I knew I was nearly done for.  I battled rubbing socks the whole trail before giving up.  I had been through 2 sheets of moleskin, which got peeled right back off by my sock.  Then I tried bandaids and they just slid down.  I put moleskin on my boot, but it was not the boot giving me blisters, it was my socks moving around.
I have a small foot-size 6 or 7.  When I buy socks for 'size 7-10' they are just too loose.  So I buy little boy socks, but my boots are higher than my little socks, so I started wearing wool socks.  Well, someone else used them and when I got them back, one was stretched out.  The slight sliding and rubbing over 25 miles did a number on my foot.  By the time I gave up reaching the end, my foot felt like it was burning and then I peeled down my sock to look at my heel and put it right back up when it was stuck from the blood. 
I was weary, the type of tired when you are past needing to sit and rest a while.  I knew if I stopped, that would be it.

Matt got to the van and came down to pick me up on the trail.  I had managed to make it to nearly within sight of the end-less than half a mile.  But I had no desire to try to finish, only to get those boots off.

When I got home, my ankles were swollen and mottled, almost like an ivy rash.  It went away overnight other than the reddened skin, we looked up what it might be, but no luck there. Or at least nothing I'd want it to be!

So, that was a sobering hike, I felt like I was up for it and I wasn't, that was further than I realized, that I am SO glad I did not have to set up camp and make dinner afterward.  I know it's better to find these things out now and not on the AT when I call Matt to come pick us up the 3rd day out.  But I had thought I'd be okay over flat ground.  If my feet had not hurt so much, I think it would have been easier mentally and I would have finished without much drama, just tired out.

Still, it's a place to start.  I was not always able to walk even 10 miles and now that's easy going.  I will get there...

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.