June 27, 2013
Today’s mileage: 13.5
Total mileage: 1509.8
Our night off at Kristin and Eric is by far the most important night off the trail for us on our entire hike. As you may have read from my previous posts over the last few days, we were really struggling mentally. But, after a good night’s sleep, I felt like a new person and not the person I’ve been the past few days. We said goodbye to the cats and loaded up the car to head back to the trail. The bugs were in full swing when we arrived in Salisbury. We expected nothing less and loaded up on the DEET. We said goodbye to Kristin, our amazing Connecticut trail angel, and headed on up the trail. Again, we cannot thank you and Eric enough! We will always credit your hospitality and generosity as a major turning point in our hike.
There were lots of climbs today, but we were ready for them. We didn’t want flat, viewless hiking anymore. We wanted steep climbs again with the promise of spectacular views at the summit. We missed sitting atop mountains and eating our Little Debbie’s and Gummi Bears. We yearned for the cool mountain breeze to wash over our bodies once more. And today, we got all of that. We climbed Bear Mountain in Connecticut and ate lunch there, the highest point in the state. The breeze kept the bugs away. We’ll welcome that any day of the week. Not long after the steep descent down the mountain, we crossed the border into Massachusetts! Almost immediately, there seemed to be a difference in the hiking. Our next two climbs up Mt. Race and Mt. Everett reminded me of hiking in Maine in a more vast wilderness. I fell twice today because of the slippery rocks after the few minutes of rainfall today. And did I mention that we hit the 1500 mile marker? And as of a few days ago, we are also two-thirds of the way through our hike. How could we stop now?!
We are tenting as usual away from the bugs and away from the YMCA group nearby. I’m trying a new thing where I actually wake up early and start hiking earlier. I’ve identified one of my stresses lately as getting into camp late and going to bed late. I want to get out of that cycle, but we’ll see how it goes since I’m terrible at getting up early.
I also want to take the time in my post to acknowledge and share our gratitude with everyone who left us encouraging words on our recent posts. I always try to write honestly and openly with all of you, but never could I have imagined the outpouring of support that we would receive from so many of you after writing about our difficult days. Yesterday afternoon, we sat down and read through all of the comments from the past few days. Hearing from so many of you (and from some we hadn’t heard from before!) really has made a difference in our attitude and our will to move forward. I had never thought of blogging as a two-way street in terms of what my readers could give back to me. I always imagined that the blogger gives the information and the readers receive that information. Now I see and have proof that you, my readers, also have the power to inspire and to provide advice. All of your words and thoughts were so true and made us believe in ourselves again. We had hit a mental wall and I just wanted to let all of you know that we took your words to heart and they truly helped us continue our hike. Your positive energy has affected us tremendously and you have become a major part of our hike. I always look forward to hearing from all of you, but especially during the last couple of days. Thank you for supporting us through the roughest part of our hike thus far. I truly cannot say that enough.