Day 62: Turk Mtn to Pinefield Gap

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Saturday, May 15, 2010

Alright folks I'll try to keep an upbeat attitude, but honestly I've never felt this close to calling it quits. No it's not the constant needle pricks when I sweat on my back, not the blisters or foot pain, it has nothing to do with boredom or disinterest in the task or the scenery, it's not like I feel I can't make it... iT'S tHE DAnG TICKS! aHHHH!

So I told you last night that I would dream about them... Well I woke up this morning and felt something funny on my back, yep, during the night a tick that was in my tent got himself some prime real estate and was going to town. It's also not easy to tweeze off a tick on your own back, but since I was alone not exactly like I had options.

During the day I found around 10 more ticks on me. Since ticks tend to climb upwards, many seem to get "trapped" in the zipper flaps on my convertible pant legs. Now that I know this, I've been checking there frequently, so hopefully they can't ride into my tent that way anymore.  I'm going to consider the nuclear option in the next town, I think the stuff is called pro methyl or something? Anyways you have to apply it to your clothes (and I'll put it on my pack) and let it cure before you can wear it... Put it on too soon and you die. I don't want to resort to this but honestly I think I'll lose my sanity or quit if this keeps up.

Ok new topic! Whew! I said my tent was dripping last night, which was true but after I signed off I realized why: I set up my tent in the hot humidity and then was busy breathing in it, then the cold front came through and the temp dropped about 25 degrees in minutes. The condensation that resulted was pretty heavy, in part I think because I set up the rain fly too low to the ground and there wasn't enough air circulation.

Alright before you accuse me of being a total "negative nancy", there were some positives. It did rain a lot and my tent stayed dry. I slept pretty well. Today's 22 mi were pretty easy and there were some nice vistas (though still wondering why it's so special it gets to be a national park)

Talked to a few interesting people along the way and it doesn't get too old to answer the same old questions, partly because they are so in awe of my attempt.  Of course the questions you all ask are much more informed! The latest: "do I lose track of time, day of the week, and notice more people out on the trail on the weekends?"  This journal helps me keep track a bit, and you need to remember the day of the week when you think about post offices and stuff. It is hard though, so in the last town I bought a watch so it can do all that for me. It is especially useful to know when to get up, how fast you are walking, and for keeping track of time in the evening. I definitely notice more people on the weekends, in fact the contrast is pretty amazing (though approaching summer it's more consistent.) we always hope there might be trail magic on the weekends... Much more likely than a Wednesday!

So any other takers for hiking memorial day weekend? Sounds like it's just Chris and Sarah.  We'll have a fun time but there's room for lots more!

Skirted a campground today and they had a camp store... I wanted to swing by and supplement my lunch with something ice cold and maybe a treat, but they were closed for the season. Oh like a dagger through my heart. Even the Pepsi vending machine outside was unplugged.  Fortunately the foul mood didn't last too long.

Hey people, how is everyone? Thanks for all the comments! It's so special that you are actually reading some of this crazy talk. I hope it doesn't skew your vision of me too much, you'd say crazy things too if you were out here hiking 20 mi a day in the 85 degree heat, pulling off ticks and sleeping on the ground.  Ah but I still love it. Ask some more questions! Until then, take care!
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Hey Rob--Got another question for you. When can you look forward to getting out of "Tic Country?" Is is the heat, humidity, terrain, & lower altitudes bringing them out? Or do you need to get into states with colder & longer winter temperatures? I'll bet the "locals" have some unique "cures" for them. Keep on treking and be safe.

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