Settled in at Uncle Johnny’s

Well, I made it to Ewin, TN. My second maildrop location. Alas, it’s Sunday, Easter Sunday no less, so I will be holed up here for a bit, waiting on the P.O. It’s good for me to sit still though.

 Sitting still has been a big issue with me actually. I want to be moving when I’m still, but then I resent having to move too much on the trail and wish I was taking more time to enjoy spots like the one I’m at right now. I think I get in my head too much about mileage and planning and haven’t yet figured out how to just relax and enjoy the journey. It’s got to come, in time, I hope. Anxiety has always been a good friend of mine, for some dumb reason.

 I’ve certainly made friends out here. And I’ve enjoyed having people to talk to while wakling sometimes. Even more so, I’ve enjoyed laughing with them, at night, in the shelters, while we’re all making our meals.

 When I said I thought women would be out numbered 4 to 1 here, I was gravely mistaken. More like, 8 to 1, maybe even more. It’s getting to me more than it should. It’s not like I don’t feel comfortable around guys, I just, I don’t know, miss estrogen, I guess. Plus, I often feel a little bit like fresh meat. Like I better somehow drop “my boyfriend Jesse said this” or “my boyfriend Jesse would like that” in to each initial conversation I have with a young man on the trail. It’s not so bad. I think I’m just wondering where the hell all the women are. Why didn’t they want to do this, like I did?

 Other than what I’m still going through, as far as finding balance and a little pain in my right hip, I do actually feel quite great. I’ve walked 340 miles and I’m settling into relatively easy 20 miles days. It seems realistic to finish in early August like I was hoping. Jesse is going to join me in about a month in the Shenandoahs, which will be lovely for many reasons. The trees are starting to bloom!!! Which means sweet, replenishing shade at last! By the by, the sun is killing me!!! I’m truly a creature of the north!

 Yesterday I got to this beautiful mountain top called Big Bald. A nice family saw me hiking alone and came over to ask a bunch of questions. “Are you alone?” “Do you feel safe?” “How many miles a day?” “When did you start?” “Do you want some chocolate covered blueberries?” “Do you want an orange?” It was great. And I did want chocolate blueberries and an orange, and really enjoyed eating them atop that mountain with a breath taking, 360 degree view of tree covered mountains as far as the eye can see. It was lovely. Made me remember just how much I love this kind of stuff.

 Thanks to everyone keeping track of me. Your encouragement goes a long way! TTFN.

4 thoughts on “Settled in at Uncle Johnny’s

  1. Chocolate covered blueberries! Now that’s trail magic! I’m glad that you’re starting to settle into trail life. Don’t fret too much, I’m sure you’ll meet more women as you hike. Keep in mind that you have many of us females hiking right next to you in spirit! I love you and miss you!
    Stay safe. Keep warm at night and cool by day.
    Heidi

    1. Thanks Heidi. I’m on my way to the P.O. and can’t wait to see your contribution! I really hope you’re having a great time in Pennsylvania. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to call you soon.
      Sometimes, when I’m struggling on the trail, I just try to imagine I’m as badass as you. And it gets me through it!
      Love you,
      Shayla

  2. Chocolate covered blueberries! Now that’s trail magic! I’m glad that you’re starting to settle into trail life. Don’t fret too much, I’m sure you’ll meet more women as you hike. Keep in mind that you have many of us females hiking right next to you in spirit! I love you and miss you!
    Stay safe. Keep warm at night and cool by day.
    Heidi

  3. Hi Shayla,

    Wow, you’re amazing! 340 miles is fabulous! That’s (approximately) your first million steps, (on this trip trip that is) Way to go! *** When you’re missing female walking buddies, just remember that very cool photo you have of “The Girls.” ***
    Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed. *** Keep up the good work!

    Love ya, Lu

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