Lemme explain that title: as a SOBO (southbound) hiker on the Appalachian Trail my ultimate destination was Springer Mountain, Georgia, the southern terminus of the AT. The Ray Charles classic “Georgia On My Mind” became something of a touchstone for me on that hike and I listened to it often, day dreaming of eventually reaching the Peach state.
As you may recall, my northbound hike of this current trail was diverted (due to snow) when I hit Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. After I “flipped” up to Canada to resume my hike southbound, my new “ultimate destination” became Ghost Ranch, which is also the former studio and home of Georgia O’Keeffe. So I’ll complete the CDT when I return to Georgia O’Keeffe and her Ghost Ranch. So once again, I’ve got Georgia on my mind.
As I mentioned, I’ve gone back to hiking alone this stretch, hoping soon to reunite with MAV and Hammer another week or two down the trail, all things like weather and health permitting. Meanwhile, I’m making a point of enjoying these solitary days. Prior to spltting up, we had discussed making 25 miles our new benchmark for a minimum day. As it turns out, I did the 100 miles from Anaconda to the spot from which I hitchhiked in to Darby in exactly 4 days, so I’ve managed to keep that pace so far…we’ll see how that pans out.
I arrived in Darby, MT very early this morning and got lucky snagging a room tonight as the town is fully booked after today for their annual Logger Days. As I sit in the fabulous Darby public library, I’m reminded of one more quick anecdote to share from much earlier this morning. I woke up early to do the 30 mile hitchhike into town and stepped out of my tent at 4:15 am for a pee. Way off in the distance in one direction I heard my first wolf of the hike…that howl was then met with responses from at least another 4-5 wolves, all from various far off directions. It was as though they were all “checking in” after a night’s hunting before tucking in for a well-earned sleep.
Ok, so that’s all for now. Cheers from your inconsistent correspondent, Max.