Today's miles: 19
I am tired and my feet smell bad. The puppy follow me all day again, after a restive night sharing my tent. So now – in addition to smelling like sweat and mildew, my stuff all smells like wet dog. At least I am staying with another backpacker (albeit a reformed hiker).
Can I let a beagle break my heart? I can’t anthropomorphize her… it. She was good company for a couple of days. I shouldn’t have fed her… but I did.. so no looking back at that. And now I am in the little “local color” Beanstalk with half a dozen overcaffeinated patrons, jabbering to each other about mugs and puzzles downstairs. And upstairs, much quieter but full of artistes scribbling amateur ART in our little notebooks. Or something like that.
I am enjoying exploring this new world of Boone. But I want to see more in-depth than I am now – and it seems strange to complete this journey without digging down somewhere. I wish that I could find a good way to balance travel and work and making new friends… and wearing blue jeans.
Today was cool and beautiful. I don’t want to think about the puppy and the puppy was on my mind most of the day. Most of today, I walked on the BRP. The Mountains to sea trail has been flagged in this area, but not yet dug or built. I did hike a cute little loop-trail with interpretive signs with the names and descriptions of trees along it. And I hiked a little bit of the unbuilt trail this morning, following the flags like the needle of a compass through the woods (elementary orienteering!!). It felt good to be tramping through the woods – “like a Daniel Boone!” I mused for a moment before reflecting that actually, if I were Dan Boone, I would have to deal with directions and no paths ever and definitely no guidebook, not to mention the unknown danger of running into a Native American in the forest, who may not treat you as a benign trade partner but instead potentially as the ENEMY. Not to mention that I would not have fleece to keep me warm and plastic to keep my things dry.
Upon reaching the highway to Boone, I hitched on the road and was picked up by a woman who declared me brave to hitchhike alone as a woman nowadays, eventhough she used to do it all the time when she was younger, between the NC mountains and the Florida beach. She said that she had “one bad experience and it was bad” and then let that drop off and I didn’t ask her to repeat the experience to me.