We began our A.T. hike three days ago at Springer Mountain, Georgia. Torrential rains and cold weather have made for muddy trails and less than ideal conditions. Day 1 was a rough climb over a mix of slippery rocky terrain and mud which caused Toad to slip and fall not once but twice. Chief had a mishap by missing a trail blaze after a creek crossing causing us both to hike a quarter mile on the wrong trail before discovering the error. By the end of the day we were cold, wet and exhausted and wondering WHY we were out in these elements with aching muscles and pruny feet. We met several hikers who also planned to go to Maine but several have dropped out already. We were told that 20% of hikers quit within the first thirty miles.
Day 2 was not only a hike up and down one mountain but TWO mountains. The going up was a killer cardiovascularly, but the decents wreaked havoc on these old knees. The view would have been amazing if there wasn’t so much fog. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the woods carpeted with last fall’s brown and red leaves and the young green plants of spring popping through. Wild violets were a welcome sight of color and a reminder to find joy in the small things.
So it’s Day 3 and the rain was so penetrating today that we finished mile 21 and got a ride to the Hiker Hostel to dry out ourselves and our gear. It has been hard to focus on anything but our discomfort.
Before we left, I downloaded the Jesus Calling app on my iPhone. Today’s devotion read, “When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities. Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort accept the challenge of something new. “. Ok, God we get it. We need to embrace the opportunities you provide starting on Day 4…
Chief and Toad