Miles today: 0
Miles total: 1126.0
Currently laying in a hotel bed...
Blogging from a bed with zero miles on the day: there are worse things in the world. The initial plan for the day was to catch a movie in nearby Hagerstown before migrating to Washington, DC for the night. While we milled around the mall waiting for our showtime, however, my mom and I got to talking about my sore shin. Being both an ER nurse and the mother of an only child, my mom expressed her concerns. I agreed, seeing that I still have quite a bit of hiking ahead of me. We headed to a nearby urgent care center where the service was excellent. Everyone was amazingly nice, including the doctor, who got my blog's web address from my mom. A couple of x-rays ruled out any major fractures. The recommendation was to rest for the next few days and to keep the mileage low, like I have been. Hearing a doctor tell me I'd probably be alright really cleared my mind. I'm going to be able to hike in peace from here on out. Woohoo! Now that's all the pertinent hiking news I've got for you. I finally have the time and energy deliver on my promise of explaining what got me interested in hiking this trail. Tonight you'll be treated to part one in a series that I'm going to call...
The Origins of Rooster
Part I: Mount Mitchell, NC
This is an incredibly vague memory of mine, but I've done my best to piece it together based on what my parents have told me. When I was but a young sapling, my parents drove me north to meet up with family friends at Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. I don't know how old I was, but I remember getting impatient on the steady uphill drive, wondering when we would get there. My mom told me fifteen minutes, which meant nothing to me at that age. I was confused, so she told me it was half an episode of "Muppet Babies", a TV show aimed at my demographic. This was also the peak of my "Lion King" phase, and that movie came out in '94. That puts me around 4 or 5. On the way up, I recall looking out of the window and seeing a cloud. We were driving through it. I was baffled. I'd spent my whole life in the Low Country of South Carolina, living in a home at about 10 feet above sea level. Big mountains were like nothing I had ever seen. The next thing I remember is hiking somewhere on the mountain and really enjoying it. My parents were baffled; this was kind of out of character for me at that age. There was something about the chilly, damp air that felt good. That's about all I can remember about that day, other than pretending to take a nap in the car on the way home. Unfortunately, the AT doesn't cross over Mount Mitchell, but that peak is characteristic of the southern Appalachians that come to mind when I dreamed of hiking the trail. I count that trip as the day the seed was planted in my little Rooster brain.