June 29 - 30 Journal Entries

June 28 - Day 111

16.4 mi to Duncannon - 1118.9 cum

Today was very difficult for me mentally. Lately I've been feeling overtired on the trail. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing control on my body and it's doing a slow spiraling descent to utter exhaustion. There's nothing specifically wrong that I can point to and say "There, that's the problem!" It's just a general malaise that saps my energy and makes me feel weak. It overwhelmed me today--just washed over me and sucked me down.

We got a very early start because we had to make it to Duncannon to meet my family by 2 or 3. I hated every step. I was literally in tears at one point--total, uncontrolled sobbing. I don't know what's going on is the scary part. It's like I've been given somebody else's body and it's ridden with consumption or some strenght taking illness.

Poor FireBall is at a complete loss. He gets to watch his hiking partner fall to pieces, and I can't even explain why other than to say I'm tired. And I am, but it seems like so much more than just that. I hope it is just exhaustion. I pray that it's just exhaustion. Yes, we've been hiking 9 days straight now and have several more to go before a planned day off. Yes, it's been over 90 degrees and humid many of those days. But our daily mileage hasn't been anything unreasonable. Could it all really be just exhaustion?

I'll be going home for a few days over the 4th of July holiday. I hope a few days off is all I need.

June 30 - Day 112

11.1 mi to Peter's Mtn Shelter - 1130 cum

My first day of hiking with my younger brother, Michael, during my thru-hike. We had a really good time. We had a very filling breakfast at the Clarks Ferry Truckstop, packed up the last of our gear, and hit the trail a little after 10. We didn't have many miles to cover, so we set a pretty leisurely pace and took lots of breaks along the way.

Highlights of the day--eating ripe raspberries alongside the trail, spotting a 4' long black snake, telling embarassing stories about each other, and a heck of a trip for water upon reaching the shelter.

This shelter is a showplace. It is a two story deal with a great porch and a picnic table that's protected under a roof. The lines for hanging your foodbag up our of reach of the mice are on pulleys! The water source is another matter. It was a 400 foot elevation loss down a very steep and slippery trail to get to the little spring. I won't even talk about the climb back up carrying full water containers, I'll just mention that I made Michael carry the 3 gallon water bag on the trip back up the hill :-)

There are quite a few thru-hikers here tonight: Just Dave, Pixie, Geo, Aunt Marty, Big Bird, and Wrangler. I'm glad Michael is getting to meet some of the other thru-hikers just to get a taste for what a neat bunch of people they are overall. The shelter's supposed to hold 20, but we've got it seeming pretty darn full with just nine of us here since most of us set up our tents in the shelter to fend off the bugs.

I hope tomorrow's as enjoyable as today was.