I know this is a late update, but I fell quite ill back in Connecticut. For reasons unknown, I got sick in the middle of the night on our last night in CT. I was up all night running to the out-door bathroom and even had the pleasure of tossing my cookies at 5 am. But the view was amazing from the open mountain top and the stars were really putting on a show. So it wasn’t a total loss.
The next morning, though I had thrown up only an hour before, I thought I could walk 20 miles. That was dumb! It took me about 30 minutes to realize that I was being a crazy person and that I should spend the day in bed. An 81-year-old sweetheart, Maria, came to my rescue. She was listed in the book for taking hikers into her home at a rate of $35 per night. For CT, that’s a steal. She came and got me from the nearest road right after I called her. It was just what I needed. I spent the whole day in bed, and even got to watch Free Willy:) It’s amazing to me how lucky I’ve been on this trail. Anytime I really need something, it’s been there. I have no excuse not to believe that the universe takes care of me.
The next morning, I woke up feeling better than ever! I hit the trail feeling strong and made it 23 miles into Great Barrington. I crossed the Massachusetts border and spent my lunch break with 3 sweet and brilliant little girls, who made me feel like I was queen of the world for doing what I was doing. Then I got a hitch from a really sweet woman who said I reminded her of herself backpacking through Europe in her 20’s. She dropped me off at the co-op. Thinking they would be the most community oriented place to look for a camp spot somewhere in this charming, New England city. The manager of the place not only offered to take me to a campsite after his shift, but also let me grab a plate of free food off the hot bar. And I walked around downtown feeling really satisfied and happy to be there.
Across the street, I saw a group of teenagers with a video camera, interviewing random people on the streets. Or just seeing if they could get them to play along in their skits. A young woman agreed to fake a fight on camera, in which she brutally “beat up” one of the young guys in the group. Another stranger was asked to recite the entire Fresh Prince of Bel Aire theme song, which I wish they would have called on me for, because I would have rocked at that! It reminded me of Mackenzie and my mom, I know how they love to do those kind of things. Such as our scavenger hunt this Christmas.
Anyway, that night, I actually ended up just sleeping outside the co-op, since the manager got out so late. But I didn’t mind, and in fact, I felt oddly proud as I unrolled my sleeping bag beside the vegetable crates. I just felt like I was good at surviving, and I trusted the town. I really can’t explain why that felt so good.
So, I’m glad for my sick day. It brought me so much joy in the long run. And it’s always good for me to be forced to slow down. It’s nature’s way of telling me that I can’t control everything. Since then, I don’t seem to stress too much about when I’m going to finish this trail. I just trust that each day is going to be good!