May 19th

I’ve been struggling with writing lately, partially because of weather (it’s been rainy and cold almost every day lately) and partially because I’ve had some longer days, hiking 10-13 miles a day. As a consequence, I’ve been so tired at the end of the day that I’ve gone straight to sleep rather than writing the day’s journal entry. I’ve been thankful that these days weren’t sponsored so that I wasn’t letting someone down

With that said, I’ve had some fantastic days lately. I’ve gradually felt more and more settled in, and I feel like I’ve got a better idea of how to handle the things coming my way. Rain and cold are still my biggest challenges, and I’m still struggling to hit those 10-13 miles a day. I am encouraged though that the challenges are feeling more manageable.

The flip side of this though is that I’ve started to become almost blase’ about the journey. I no longer feel the urge to stop at every mountain view, or sit and gaze at the forest. I plug in an audio book and chug along pretty quickly in the day, tuning out my environment. However, I still occasionally have moments when I’m forced to stop and suddenly be struck by the sheer beauty that surrounds me.
I’m getting ready to leave Erwin soon, and I’ll be looking at a significant stretch without town stops, though a few hostels exist for resupply. I’m excited and hoping to find chances to recenter and get back on track

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