August 9th

Today I took a detour to go into the small town of Montebello, Virginia, where I purchased some resupply of food to hold me over until I get to Waynesboro in about 4 or 5 days.
I’m feeling more and more melancholy when I take the time to stop and feel it. Otherwise I spend a great deal of time listening to audio books, podcasts, stand up albums, or music to distract me. I keep having the random thought that my hike is coming to an end, that I’m a “failed” thru hiker, that I am stopping so far from Maine. I think about if I should still introduce myself to others as a thru hiker or if I should start saying that I’m a “LASHer” (a “long ass section hiker). I’ve had so many beautiful sights and wonderful experiences, I’ve had moments of pure rest and peace, but I’ve also had loneliness, soreness, and exhaustion. I know that I’ll fondly remember these months for the rest of my life, but I wonder how much those memories will be tainted by thoughts of failure.

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