July 12, 2015

Coming at you live from some motel in Cherokee, this entry is not being copied from meticulously hand-written notes (ha). I am dealing with the bugs and the rain and the ups and downs but one thing I'm really struggling with is sleep. After a fourth night of dozing off only to wake up shivering, I needed to do something, and it wasn't the 17-mile hike I'd mapped out from the comfort of my desk chair. So I walked the .9 miles from my campsite to the actual trail (why do they do that?) and the 2.8 doooown the mountain and plunked my stuff down on the gravel road between an SUV from Georgia and an Appalachian Trail Crew van and waited for some kind soul to show up. It wasn't hitchhiking, per se, there were no thumbs involved. I just got in the way of the cars coming down the mountain. I cried for the first time all week when an older couple in a bright white jeep turned me down, and then I wiped off my cheeks (it probably helped clean up all the gnats I'd smashed on my face anyway), almost fell asleep sitting up, and got driven into town by the next car to come down that lonely one-way gravel road - a million thanks to you sweet, chain-smoking, hiker-loving, Illinoisan souls. So now I'm at a motel alone for the first time, and I've washed all my clothes with real detergent and updated the journals and contacted a bunch of people about getting a ride back to the trail (another million thanks to Joellen, Outreach Coordinator for the FMST indeed, especially with it being a Sunday night). The only other thing I need to do is hit up the gas station across the street, except whoops, there was fraud on my credit card, so I better spend the three $20 bills I brought wisely. This is a whole new branch of problem solving to learn about, and I have come as far as I have only because of the kindness and generosity of strangers. Independence, schmindependemce. Goodnight.