In the bible, Jacob's ladder, is a staircase to heaven. On the Appalachian Trail it is a staircase to hell. I began my day the same as yesterday, lying in my hammock waiting for the rain to stop. Around 8, it finally quit long enough to pack up and get going. I immediately hit Jacob's ladder. My first thought was, "this isn't so bad". Right about then the muddy ground laughed at my cavalier attitude and sucked my feet out from under me. I was pretty irritated about falling in the mud, but I pushed onward and upward. If not for the rain and mud, the climb wouldn't have been so bad. I finished the .6 mile climb in 20 minutes and was feeling pretty good.
I thought I was in for an easy day after that climb, boy was I wrong. After three days of constant rain, my footpath through the woods turned into a muddy nasty slog through the woods. I was irritated the first time I fell, I was downright pissed off the second time I fell, by the third and fourth time, all I could do was laugh. I wasn't hurt, just very wet and muddy. I had 13.3 miles to think about how much I hate mud. I'm now a mud expert. The AT has 4 different types of mud. The first kind is dark black, it's not slippery, it's sticky. The kind of mud that wants to steal your shoes. I'm oddly ok with this type of mud. The next kind is a dark brown mud. It soaks your feet, but also not slick. The third kind is a very light brown, almost tan. It's very devious. Some times it's as slick as ice, and other times you can trudge right through it. Mostly I just slid around. Then there is the reddish brown kind. All it wants to do is ruin your day. This caused 3 of 4 falls. I could see the tracks of other hikers that fell to this demonic substance. I thought I would fare better. I did not. My only saving grace, was nobody witnessed my spectacular falls. They were like something you see in cartoons. Arms wheeling about, feet flailing as they tried to find purchase.
I no longer dislike the rain. We have come to an understanding. I get a free shower and the trees get what they need to bloom. Everyday I get to see the effects. The forest is greener everyday. It's amazing to watch the transformation.
I have decided to take my first Zero day. I've noticed the last few days that my legs just don't have any zip. I plan on laying around the lodge all day binge eating and hopefully watching Game of Thrones. Hopefully I can upload all of my pictures and videos as well.
I'd also like to wish my Dad a very happy birthday. I was able to get a call through to him and as always it brightened my day. I love you Dad!!!!
"When the going gets tough, get tough and get going" Kyle Williams