April 20th

image

Shelter From the Storm

Woke up this morning in my comfy bed in Kane around 8am. Got cleaned up and packed up, then checked out of the manor, Dave let me leave my pack in his office while I walked downtown to get breakfast. I ate a huge Belgian waffle covered in butter and maple syrup, with side of bacon and coffee. Had the same waitress as the other day. I refilled all my water at the manor, then started walking back to 321, where I would make my first attempt ever to hitch hike back to the trail head where I stopped the other day.

I started thumbing for rides once I got out of the city limits of Kane. It ended up taking about six miles and about six cars, before an elderly couple pulled over and gave me a lift for the remaining two. They both grew up in this area, and knew everything about the forest, the husband was missing part of his arm, I think he is a Korean War vet.

By the time I get on the trail, it’s already past noon. I can tell about three miles in that it’s going to rain. The trail itself, is mostly up and down hills the whole way, with a few flat spots. There is one section that goes through what looks like a spot where they had down some controlled burns. I decided I would try to hike most of this section, which is about seven miles total. A mile before the end of this section I came across a newly made shelter, which makes me holler with joy, because it was just starting to pour the rain.

I was able to sling one side of my hammock in the corner of the shelter, with the other side lashed to a tree. I am so happy I found this shelter, I was able to remain dry the rest of the evening.

 

April 21st

image

Rain day doldrums 

I woke up this morning to pouring rain, and a fever. I have been coughing all night, I think I’m getting a chest cold. Moving pretty slow, took my time making breakfast and packing up. As soon as a thru my pack on my back, I received a phone call from my boss, informing me that our HR department had cancelled my leave of absence.  Due to the downturn of the industry, they are laying off a lot of people, and now we only have enough people to work the remaining jobs that we do have, so I would have to quit, and take my chances on them hiring me back, which will my company will most likely still be in a hiring freeze. I was planing on southbound hiking the Appalachian Trail, starting in June up in Maine. So between the bad news, the rain, and my fever, I’ve lost any real will to finish the trail. Phone calls are made, and I unpack for a day in the rain.

Luckily my friend was kind enough to come up after work, and give me a ride back home that evening. I hiked a mile down to a trail crossing on highway 6. I’m definitely sick. When I get home, I remained sick for the next week.