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[at-l] Ready's Journal: June 21 Thursday TD

>2 days off - rested and healed ? - or gone soft?.... We'll see....
>We'd spent the time off resting, eating, chatting with other hikers and 
>staff at the ATC headquarters, and mostly - it seemed - at the local 
>We finally found a shoe set-up that we think will sudffice.  new Balance 
>803's with Dr. School's gel inserts and superfeet inserts.  Socks that 
>actually fit me.  The heels are at my heels, instead of halfway up my 
>calf! Whose genius is it to size socks in a range from 5.5 to 10!?  Could 
>a size 10 really wear a size 5.5!?  Those socks are size 10's and nobody's 
>ever gonna convince me otherwise.
>We spent some time with GittEr Done who had been considering leaving the 
>trail. After a trip to the outfitter and some serious tuckerizing she went 
>from a 30+ pound back down to a 15 pound pack, and made the decision to 
>keep hiking. You go, girl!  Laura, the owner of the outfiters is a pearl, 
>and fun as well!
>Well boys and girls, the most profound thing I learned today is the 
>delight of hiking in a skirt.  I know that the term "freedom hikin' is 
>already taken, and that's a shame, cuz this is truly Freedom hiking!  It's 
>coolerand definitely more comfortable than shorts, which tend to chafe.
>Up later than we'd hoped to be today.  I just needed more sleep, and so we 
>had curled up and gone back to sleep.  I had fallen into a deep sleep, 
>demonstrating perhaps that the need for sleep had been very pronounced.
>When we finally got up, sometime after 9, it was rush hour at the Hilltop 
>House Hotel, room#46!  We were out of our room by 10, but the sending of 
>my emails took a long time .  We headed off to the ATC Headquarters around 
>10;45.  From there it was to the post office, to mail off our bump boxes 
>and to redirect our intercepted 'late' boxes; then to the convenience 
>store for cheese and jam; to a retaurant to eat lunch; and finally back to 
>the ATC headquarters for our last little get-on-the-trail chores.
>We were only on the trail by 1:40, almost 2 hours later than our latest 
>target time for starting today's scheduled 17-miler.
>We started our hike in town, following the blazes past many historical 
>landmarks - fascinating!  I really enjoyed seeing the steps which the 
>original townspeole had carved out of the rock, as well as the Jefferson 
>Rock - a slab of shale high above town and mounted on four small 
>pillars.  It was a beautiful and simple monument to both Jefferson and the 
>splendid views the signs claimed he'd enjoyed in his day.
>We hiked over the walk bridge and onto the C&O Canal path.  Easy walking 
>with wildlife galore!  All along the path we saw a variety of 
>species:  turtles  sunning themselves on logs in the water; a heron which 
>took flight as we watched; ducks and ducklings; geese and gosslings; a 
>beaver that was drinking at the water's edge, but slipped into the water 
>as we approached; one rabbit; and two fawns, whom we saw together, but who 
>were obviously different ages - one was considerably smaller and less mature.
>We walked on a lot of rocks in Maryland in this stretch of Maryland.  It 
>will be good practice for the trail in Pennsylvania.
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