Maudlin maudlin maudlin

I do not like hiking alone. Yes, ok, I understand this is now awkward for us all. “Why would you decide that you want to hike 20000 miles if you don’t like hiking by yourself, you fool?”

It is because I must hike 20,000 miles, ok. Calm down. Circular logic makes all the sense in the world. But I would like to assert here that the majority of my hiking time has not been alone. First, there was smallest brotherski. We all know how that ended (in Atlanta! With planes!! Plaaaaaaanes). Then there was the NASA microbiologist who had my name, which was awkward at first when she walked up while I was in the middle of science, and was all, “Ummm… What are you doing?” and then I told her and we introduced ourselves and theit was all downhill from there.

I only said that to you so that I could segue into my next section, because it was not all downhill with NASA microbiologist. It was incredibly pleasant, and then she left, and then I was going uphill for a while, and then downhill, and uphill, and then everything went downhill, a bit after David and Jim showed up. (Apple Tree [?] and Bullroarer [That’s Bullroarer the legendary Took, to you.])

Everyone knows it’s not real until everyone present is laughing at your face.

Ever heard of Clingman’s Dome? Highest point on the AT, right smack-dab in the middle of the Smokies. I went through it already. Yes. Already we have reached the high point of the trail. This was while I was with the two above-named ruffians, and then we practiced our compelling-ness on the walkway up to Clingman’s Dome, but obviously were not pitiful enough, because no ice cream materialized, even though we had an entire crowd listening to us expound on the wonders of long distance hiking. (If you’re ever hiking to Clingman’s Dome, bring your own ice cream.) Thus: downhill.

Anyways, so Hot Springs was the stopping point of my last friend, and it has taken me two whole days to get from Hot Springs to here because I am grumpy. This is how I end up in a tent grumbling to myself and writing to you all. Congratulations. It appears that all we have to do in order for me to update this blog more frequently is to take away all my trail friends mutter mutter grumble mutter hrrrrghhg. Now I am sitting here in the dark, wondering whether or not it will rain, or if bears will get my food bag tonight. This is so great. If they gnaw on my ursack, everything will be squished, including my last serving of cinnamon toast crunch and the bag of Fruit Loops that I obtained for $1.95, because sugar. Then I will have colored dust sludged into dry milk for breakfast. Mm. Appetizing. Grr. I will wave my arms at any bears and throw rocks at them.

Random question: Does anyone else remember Froot Loops being spelled as “Fruit Loops”? I feel like this was a true thing that happened in the past. Also, the Bernstein Bears were totally spelled Bernstein, and not Bernstain. I remember learning my i’s and e’s and reading their books.

AUGH. So here I am, writing to you, listening to the cicadas, and grumping, when my phone vibrates. I thought I had no service… But apparently, a friend has just left a $25 gift card for me at a restaurant that the trail passes by in Virginia. This has effectively derailed this maudlin train of thought. I can’t even be properly grumpy out here.

Haha, this is a very good thing. Oh, my people- I am offski to get some sleep for the hiking tomorrow. Keep on being your wonderful selves, and I will chip away at ye olde correspondences whenever I have the wifi, or reply to your texts when I have service (this happens less often than internet, actually. Thanks, T-Mobile). If you would like a letter and/or a postcard, send me your address! (Or send me a letter with your return address upon it. My addresses have been updated for your perusal.)

Much happy, and great days,

Love,

Sail

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