Journal Entry: February 24, After Dinner; February 25

February 24, after dinner.
I ate half the pizza in one sitting, I’m going to save the rest for breakfast, then find a shuttle driver to take me into town. Google says the clinic will be open, and I need to get a few things at Walmart. Mostly shampoo, as my soap didn’t get my hair too clean. I’m allowed to be finicky now.
I’m going to take another shower before bed, and probably veg on the couch here for a while first.
I’m kind of feeling bad, because I know Boots is over at Mountain Crossings tonight, and I do have the space here so she could stay, but I’m tired, sore, and cranky, and don’t want to talk to people right now. I’m worried that my back is going to force me off trail for a while. I just can’t deal with people tonight.
I’m enough of an introvert that meeting new people is draining, and not having my usual escapes is hard. I want to get a better pad so I can sleep in a shelter in bad weather, but I don’t want to socialize very much right now. And that’s because I’m hurting, and it all makes me feel worse.
My depression is also kicking up, because being cold, dirty, tired, and sore is never a help, so I’m tearing up at the slightest provocation. It’s much worse today, as coming down Blood Mountain has several points where the trail looks like it’s going over a cliff, and several points where I lost the trail for a bit. It was kind of anxiety inducing, to be honest, and that exhausted me more than the hike itself.
This hike is going to push me to the edge of my limits, and beyond, and I’m happy in my comfort zone. I honestly think my abrupt homesickness is from the anxiety and being so far from my usual stomping grounds. 
Anyway, as I was taking my first shower, I realized I have developed what is known as “monkey butt”, or more commonly: diaper rash. So I’m going to get treatment at Walmart, as well as a way of preventing it again.
Feb 25
So, went to the Walmart clinic, they couldn’t do anything, and told me to go to the ER for an X-ray. There is another walk in clinic, but they can’t do anything either. So tomorrow, I’m going to do my pack shakedown and then go to the ER. 
I really really don’t want to stay off trail much longer. I was only on trail for six days, and I’ve had one zero, that’s turning into a double zero. Fuuuuuuuuuu
Anyway, I got in a resupply, so I won’t need to stop in Hiawassee unless I really want to. According to AWOL, it will only take three days, but it was only supposed to take three from Springer to Neel Gap, so I’m planning on longer. And depending on what the ER says, I may need to get off trail for longer, which is pissing me off.
Anyway, one of the things that hikers hear a lot is that we “pack our fears”. For instance, someone afraid of freezing would bring extra clothes, someone afraid of starving would pack too much food, etc. Since my food bag weighs as much as the rest of my pack, you can tell where I fall.
To be honest, most of it is snack type foods, rather than meals. My diet right now is something quick for breakfast, like peanut butter on a tortilla, lunch is usually candy and some sausage with maybe another tortilla, and dinner is a real meal, usually pasta or mashed potatoes. I keep a snack baggie of Mike and Ike in my pocket as I walk, and I’ve finally transferred my trail mix into smaller bags to make it easier to get at, so I’ll start munching on that too.
I do need to get into the habit of actually stopping for lunch every day, rather than walking nonstop to the next shelter. I should be stopping, taking off my pack and shoes, probably changing my socks, and chilling for an hour or so. But I get hyper focused on the next shelter I forget, and then I’m too hungry to cook.
So, it’s quarter to ten, and I’m starting to think that my pack was putting pressure on it and keeping it from getting to bad, because I haven’t done anything today and it really hurts now. Bah.

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