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[at-l] READY's journal June 13 Part Two

>When I still couldn't catch Spur, I started to cry, exacerbating my 
>allergic reaction and causing me to question why I was feeling so 
>utterly  dependent.  I hike by myself all the time, and in my imaginings 
>of a thruhike, I had always been "solo," so why was this upsetting me so?
>Finally, after about 40 minutes, I found Spur, stopped on the trail 
>rewinding a tape.  I kissed him and waited for him.  He was preoccupied 
>with the tape and I was feeling the tears start up again.  I hiked past 
>him and he followed a few paces behind.
>When I eventually got a grip on my emotions we talked about what had 
>happened.  I learned from Spur that he hadn't been aware of how much ahead 
>he'd gotten, nor of any "need" to stay in closer proximity.
>He was right, of course.  We'd never discussed this before, nor had I ever 
>considered it; we had simply never had  more than 1\2 an hour's gap in our 
>hiking before.  I concluded that it had been the combination of heat and 
>allergies that had made me so distressed. We agreed to try to stay closer 
>in the future.
>Spur pointed out that in the past 6 weeks, we'd not been separated for 
>more than a few hours' time! Wow! No wonder I'd gotten so used to having 
>him around.
>He also let me know that it had been my singing that had prompted him to 
>hike on ahead of me. Well, hey then! Who could *blame* him for 
>catapaulting himself out of range!? {GRIN}
>We hiked on, together, for the rest of the day  I felt good about our 
>exchange; we'd handled this one better than the last problem. Domestic 
>bliss was restored. Hey, we're getting good at this resolution stuff.
>We arrived at Elkwallow Wayside and had our shakes.  A torrential rain 
>storm blew in, and we waited it out reading books, studying maps, and 
>chatting with Coach and Photo, who have been out hiking for the past 5 days.
>The rain falling on the hot ground and ave reas around the wayside caused 
>billows of white steam to rise up from the surface.  It was surreal.
>After about a 1/2-hour the rain stopped and we headed out.  Our target was 
>Gravel Springs shelter, some 5.5 miles up the trail. We made good time 
>despite the slippery conditions and occasional muddy spot.  At the shelter 
>already were Hubcap and Gitterdone, Rufus, Fruitpie and Phoenix, along 
>with a section hiker doing big miles ('can't recall his name as I write this).
>We saw a quiet man sitting in the corner of the shelter, studying his 
>maps. He briefly looked up and introduced himself,"Frank," then went back 
>to his reading. Two women could be seen at their tent, pitched on a hill 
>high above the shelter; we never did geet to chat with them.
>Spur and I prepared our dinner and ate  it the picnic table with 
>Gitterdone and Hubcab.
>Spur wears froggtoggs, while I wear a tyvek jacket that I'd bought at a 
>dollar store several years ago.  We are a very wrinkled looking couple, 
>for sure. Hubcap was delighted to see us in our wrinkled  clothes, since 
>she had been feeling self conscious wearing an old and wrinkled teeshirt 
>out in public! Hubcap is a beautiful young woman, with bright eyes and a 
>winning, easy smile.  The chatting was upbeat and light.
>It is an excedingly hot and muggy night.  Although there had been many 
>people here, only Spur, Frank and I stayed inside the shelter; everyone 
>else had tented nearby.
>Just after entering the shelter; however, the bugs started biting badly 
>and Spur speedily assembled the Nomad inside the shelter, while I gathered 
>the sleeping system (pads, sleeping bags, silk "jagbag" liner, etc.). We 
>deftly assembled them inside the tent.
>It was a surprisingly smooth operation, resembling choreography.
>We crawled inside, hot and sweaty from all the effort, and went 
>immediately to sleep. No journaling for us tonight.
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