Today, I woke up feeling very well rested. I think my body is getting used to this routine. That’s pretty exciting because that means it will feel a little easier, even though the toughest terrain is still ahead of us. Today is also the first day that I hesitate to get out of the tent. It’s cold! Checking my thermometer, it reads 37 degrees. Brrrr! On a very happy note, it didn’t rain last night and there’s no further rain in the forecast for the rest of the week! I can hear my knee rejoicing!
The girls begin to stir and get themselves ready for the day. As we go through all the food we still have left, we hope that our hiker hunger kicks in soon. I think Baby Bear’s has started to, but Moon Pie and I are still like, meh. I think I’m more motivated to eat to shed the weight rather than because I’m hungry. Hahaha. Whatever works, right?
We begin the day with a simple enough walk. Mostly gentle elevation changes with more descents than ascents for the first 2 miles. We come upon a decent ascent of about 500 feet in under 3/4 of a mile. We nearly run up this mountain with no issues. We’re feeling great and motivated!
The day presses on. We encounter more stairs than any other day so far. I term today as “leg day.” In my research prior to jumping on this trail, I understood there were a lot of stairs. Well, let me rephrase that. I thought I understood how many stairs were on this trail. I can’t decide if I like them or loathe them yet.
Compared to yesterday, or even thus far, the views we had today were less exciting. It was still absolutely beautiful and we had a productive day. The most exciting part of the day was hitting the half way point, which we almost missed because it was right before our packs off lunch break. We were pushing that last half mile or so, mostly looking down, concentrating on making the miles go faster as we were ready for a break. It wasn’t until Baby Bear yells out to look up that we realized our milestone. That was fun and definitely inspired our spirits. It gave us the little nudge we needed. 38.1 miles down, 38.1 to go! I’m so proud of us. We’re really doing this!
We have a nice, long hour lunch break reminiscing about our journey so far. Baby Bear’s hiker hunger has kicked in and she goes through my food bag to forage for more vittles. I hear some trading going on between the girls that makes me laugh. It reminds me of every Halloween when all 4 kids are sitting on the floor with their loot bag of candy spread out everywhere. They make some of the best trades! I’m glad I intentionally carried more food than I knew I’d need, predicting this would happen.
We walk another 4 or so miles to our campsite, not realizing that it’ll only be a 10.5 mile day. We just saw this cool campsite and decided to stay there. In retrospect, we had at least 2-3 more miles in us. Oh well, we like it here: Bear Gap campsite. There’s a big stream that runs through this place and the girls take their shoes off and play as I set up camp. Their laughter is contagious. I love this for them…for all of us.
This is what it’s all about. It’s not about crushing the miles, concentrating solely on the distance traveled. It’s about the experience you have whilst doing it. We’ve gone a bit slower than I had predicted; taken longer breaks than usual, and stopped at every single interesting site we wanted to explore. We aren’t in a rush and I love how this is going.
Eventually, the campsite fills up with about 10 more hikers. They all seem super cool and I enjoy having people around. We make our dinner and then make our way to bed. It’s been a good day and I’m grateful. So much can go wrong on these types of adventures, but nothing really of significance has. Every single step has felt blessed and I am filled with gratitude. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!
Story by Karen Delos Santos.
Read more :
- 7 days 6 nights camping trip at Table Rock State Park part 1 – From Florida to Table Rock State Park
- 7 days 6 nights camping trip at Table Rock State Park Day 1 – Oconee State Park to Crack in the Rock Campsite
- 7 days 6 nights camping trip at Table Rock State Park Day 2 – A Crack in the Rock campsite to an unnamed campsite
- 7 days 6 nights camping trip at Table Rock State Park Day 3 – To Whitewater campsite