Shuttled back in from Ingles hours ago. I was kind of down on myself for heading to a hostel so early in my trip. That changed after a quesadilla and three tall glasses of sweet tea. I walked around town shoulders back, confident and happier than I can remember being in over a year.
“Hey! Dirty Girl!” Flo-Mo called from a nearby restaurant. Apparently that has been my trail name for days now, unknown to me, and confirmed by three others. I wear Dirty Girl Gaitors to keep the sand and rocks out of my boots. Honestly, it so contrasts my bearded face that I cannot help but adore my new name. Besides, who doesn’t like a dirty girl?
SirPacksALot, the owner of Top of Georgia Hostel, gave us a mini lecture that was easily worth the overnight rate on it’s own. I won’t go into specifics but the advice will pop up in future posts, I’m sure.
I found out that roughly 22% of the 5,500 thru-hikers this year have already quit before the point I made it to this afternoon.
Flo and I have the next week or so roughly planned out. Hopefully we’ll pass the hundred mile mark together. I’m so happy to have someone to hike with.
The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself in the last 9 months is that I am not the Lone Ranger badass I’ve always thought myself to be. I need people.
That’s it for now. I need to be up in seven hours to print my Smokies permit.