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AT 2017: Day 95, Zero Day at New Tripoli Campsite

What you see revealed within the anger is worth the pain

Hike with Gravity

An expression you sometimes hear on the trail, and one I’ve even said myself, is “Embrace the suck”. It’s borrowed from the military.

There will be challenges, so the thought goes, but you just have to roll with them. Accept them. Let them motivate and give you strength.

And then came Rocksylvania.

I’ve fallen down and twisted my ankle too many times to embrace that suck.

The rocks and the monotony of a trail without many views have been dispiriting. The rain is no fun either, but it’s the wear and tear on my body lately that has made me feeling down. I was beat up. I was frustrated and angry.

Weather Rain and thunderstorms from early morning to mid-afternoon
Today's Miles 0.0 miles
Trip Miles 1,245.9 miles

I don’t want to quit, but this morning I was having a hard time wanting to go on.

I was awaken by rain hitting my tent. Because cellular reception was available here, I was able to check the weather radar and forecast on my phone. It didn’t look good, with rain and possible thunderstorms continuing most of day.

I then took another look at the trail map, but I already knew what I’d see. Just a mile ahead of us was a section called the Knife’s Edge, named for the sharp, steep ridge line made of large boulders. The trail goes directly along the top of the Knife’s Edge, requiring extra care and sure-footedness.

Maybe I was just looking for an excuse to not hike today, but this wasn't going to be a good day for hiking. Sprained ankle or not, crossing Knife's Edge in a thunderstorm would be risky.

From my tent I hollered to Stick, telling him I wasn’t sure I was up to hiking today. Between the weather, the trail and my ankle, it didn’t seem like a good idea.

Stick didn’t need much convincing to stay here as well.

We had plenty of food, plenty of water, and a comfortable spot to stay put.

I hung my wet socks from a line strung inside my tent, but they didn’t dry out much. Other than walking down to the spring to collect some water, I mostly stayed in my tent, napping and listening to podcasts.

True to the forecast, it rained most of the day. A thunderstorm began to rumbled in late in the morning and by early afternoon it was a full-blown storm with lightning and thunder. Tree limbs were snapping off and crashing to the ground.

It was invigorating.

Then the rain tapered off, but didn’t stop completely until after 3 p.m.

Once the rain stopped Stick and I wandered about the campsite a bit, then cooked dinner.

During that time Boomer came by on the way to the spring. He said he, RedEye, Maple and Jason were camped at a nearby campsite just up the ridge.

This truly was a zero day, a day of doing absolutely nothing, and it was a day I needed.

We’ll find out tomorrow just how bad Knife’s Edge is and whether or not it was smart for us to avoid it in the rain. Nevertheless, I don’t regret taking the day off.

Whether it was the rest or the storm reminding me of the power of nature, my spirits were lifted back to where they needed be.

More rain fell for a couple hours overnight, but I didn’t care. I was ready to get back on the trail.

You love the thunder and you love the rain
What you see revealed within the anger is worth the pain
And before the lightning fades and you surrender
You've got a second to look at the dark side of the man


"Nothing to tell now. Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine." ref.