Today (6-2) Wiffle, his friend Jamie and I walked up out of Harper's Ferry. Beautiful day!. We got a nice high view point above the Patomic and could look back up river to see where the Shennendoah and Patomic join.
I was asked today about what I did in the real world by a tourist. I told them I was a lawyer and he started walking away real fast like kidding sort of. I love being a lawyer. I am proud to say that being a lawyer is part of what inspires me to want to finish this trail. I think it will strengthen me as an attorney. What is interesting is at the end of a 10 mile hike uphill into Maryland I was asked by a weekend biker dude where I had walked from..(reason being that by now I don't look like a day hiker, weekender or even a person with a home)...I told him I'd hiked from northern GA. He scoffed. He was wearing his leather chaps (sexy) and jacket and doo rag and had that superior look on his face and then commented that I had a lot of time on my hands. I wanted to say so many things, some not so nice, but I just took my time and remarked that "yes, I do have five months on my hands thanks to the sacrifices I have made earlier in life and sacrifices others are making so I can have this experience. I wanted to say that I used to have a lot of time on my hands when I rode around on a bike on weekends but Short Fuse stayed down and All Smiles answered his question.
I saw Indian Pipe stem today. Mushrooms are popping up. I'm loving my pains and aches. I'm loving the trail. Each mile is a wide open new experience. I often smile and laugh alone. I also sometimes walk and break into tears thinking about how good we could all be and how good some of us are. Then I hear that some fellow was eating another guy's face while on bath salts. But that was in the real world...not out here thank goodness. We eat noodles and hug each other and encourage one another. We don't attack or harm one another. The real world, I'll have to continue to re-evaluate that concept and definition as this hike goes on.
I want to mention that Sheila says some of you are commenting to her or on the website about this trip. Do so, and do so often. I want to answer questions and get comments. Like someone wanted to know what kind of gear I had and so I'll break it down.. I am carrying a ULA pack with a waterproof pack liner and a 35 degree down bag. I sleep in a hammock. I eat a mixture of dehydrated foods we made up at home and stuff you get from any grocery store. I stay away from straight sugar items like Litttle Debbie's and Snickers because they drop my energy rather than sustain it. I like tuna for lean protein but I supplement with a protein powder. I am wearing tennis shoes made by Salomon, they are called the Synapse and I love them. I haven't had a blister the whole trail.
I wear the same shirt and pants everyday, rain or shine. I stink. My clothes are torn and worn. I haven't used deodorant since March. I brush teeth, clean things and powder my feet with baking soda. I try to keep my first aid kit down to a couple of gauze pads, band aids, and betadine. I use alchol Chris made with walnut oil to rub my toes and prevent fungus.
I eat well and often. I am one of the few hikers not getting super thin because I want my energy reserves and I'm having to turn to food I don't usually eat. I ate a big mac the other day. I'd probably eat anything but just straight sugar. I love Mary Jane's Organics bulk cheesy herby buttery noodles, I also love Bee's Knee's peanut butter (we don't have it back home...its got honey in the peanut butter) and Don Poncho tortillas. I eat the granola we made with Edgar Williams' sorghum and chew on Ky beef jerky.
I have no problem walking in direct hard rain as long as its not lightning and I'm on an exposed ridge. It seems that my climbs to exposed ridges create thunderstorm contditions and I always get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it were all good level ground and great weather I don't think there would be anything to remember.
I was given Hawk's sword and thor mask which was stolen by another hiker yesterday. Gumpy put a 1 lb. jaw breaker in my pack to carry around. I snuck it back into his. And we are all getting to know each other better. As I said in another post, the pack is thinning and I'm seeing some real confidence in the eyes of some of these kids. I love passing my confidence on. I love getting confidence from others. I love smiling when I don't feel like it and I love giving food and water to those who need it.
I love walking. Iove this trail. I love all of you. Thank you for hiking this with me. Please get out and push yourselves to do a mile or two more than you want and take a guide book to lear at least one or two trees, flowers, or birds. It makes it so much more vibrant to walk and know what you are walking past. I gotta go. I hike tomorrow and am on the trail for a few days. Will be in Pennsylvania in a couple of days. Keep the Sunny Side up!
Many of these posts are by Shelia Campbell, Michael's wife <3
Bath County, Kentucky resident, Michael Campbell, is hiking the entire Appalachian Trail to raise funds for the not-for-profit group dedicated to protecting Kentucky’s native forests, Kentucky Heartwood. Michael, a long-time member of Kentucky Heartwood, began his hike on March 22 at Springer Mountain, Georgia. By the first of September, after covering 2,181 miles of trail by foot, Michael will reach Katadhin Mountain in Maine and complete the entire trail.