July 10, 2015
When I told Jason I had a 14 mile day planned, he suggested I get to site 52 and see how I felt and what time it was, but I felt okay when I got there around 3:30. I did wind up cutting the day down to 12.2, which is enough I think. The first seven miles were so much uphill, and the rest was alllll downhill, just like Jason had promised. I started counting steps so I'd have some idea of how far I'd gone and how much I had left to go. Janky Tortoise wrote a really sweet note in my book, something about taking this one step at a time and being patient, and that word stuck with me. I'm not a very patient person, but I think the trail may force me to be. My neighbors here at Smokemont are really nice. They've been coming for a long time. I met their super sweet hound dog named Woody. The dad gave me Zu vodka, which is Polish and has a stalk of bison grass in it, the mom gave me Cheetos, and the daughter (hi Kimberlee!) told me that what I'd seen was a timber rattlesnake and didn't get grossed out when I told her about how my calluses had turned into blisters.