Monday, December 20, 2010

Rome, Georgia, to Lock and Dam Park

Food for the resupply

8.1 miles on trail (plus 4.1? miles of off-trail road-walking, for 12.2 miles for the day)

Shadow (and I) had to experience twelve miles of asphalt walking today, and now he's gimping around camp, nursing his right shoulder. Walking on concrete is not fun. Things I saw along the road today: a hypodermic needle. An empty bottle of Sudafed (I didn't even know it came in bottles). A discarded pregnancy test. Bleached-out Fire sauce packets. An empty Three Olives vodka bottle. Styrofoam. More broken beer bottles than I can count.

In some ways, I'm glad I got to experience a true, real-world Georgia road walk, down to the eighteen-wheelers buzzing past. I've been avoiding the road-walk sections of the trail, hitching rides with friends and strangers, but at least now I can say I did one full day on the road. I know what I'm missing. And I have no qualms, whatsoever, about skipping these sections.

It's still an interesting way to see the world, an interesting way to understand our country, seeing it from the perspective of the things we throw out our car windows. It was worth doing once. But I'm not sure it'd be worth doing a second time. There are people who do whole long-distance road walks, cross-country road walks, thousands of miles along highway, and I just couldn't. I guess I learned that about myself today--that I need to be in wilderness for this kind of adventure to feel worthwhile.

My mom is coming to visit tomorrow, as an early Christmas gift and as a way for her to experience the trail. She's going to jump us ahead the next fifteen miles of road walk, so I don't have to do the next two days on asphalt. The people who do these trails as purists, who walk every mile of concrete, I may never understand.


Ellen D. said...

It was great to hear from you and to look at a map and see your progress. Looks like this week should be the great weather. Roger is not going to be in the area that week, so don't count on him for a lift and I'm playing catch-up with appointments etc. that week. I do hope to see you soon!

Melissa said...

We got back into town last night! Just in time for the snow... Thanks for offering Roger anyway. Can't wait to see you.