From Terra Nova last night:
“First let me begin by thanking Neil for taking the time to write this blog about my mini expedition I am on and let me also thank everyone else for their kind words of encouragement and ideas on how to battle the summer heat. Everyone’s words of encouragement have really helped me stay focused and try that little bit harder to keep at this what I like to call my mini expedition.
Yesterday I was having real trouble with the heat and having doubts about why I would even try to so something like this in my condition. I could easily have called my wife and tell her it’s time to come get me , which is actually what I did last night, I felt completely defeated by the heat and the monumental hike in front of me. I thought that since I completed the state of PA that that would be enough and I could go home with my head held high.
Well I woke up this morning and felt I was selling myself short, that I used to do longer ruck marches in the army with a pack twice as heavy as what I am carrying now. Yes my body is different now and I didn’t have to deal with MS then but I for some reason which who knows I may regret in a day or two told my wife to forget picking me up today, that I wanted to stick at this. I have decided not to think about being on the trail for 3 months or 2, or 1 but to just focus on making it through one day at a time. I don’t know how long I will be able to stay at this, it may just be for another day or two or maybe 2 or 3+ months. One thing I do know for sure is that I am grateful for each day I can hike, each person I meet on the trail , and each night I get to camp in my tent. I can’t express how much everyone’s and Neil’s words of encouragement help keep me motivated even when my body is saying I shouldn’t be doing this and my mind says I could easily be home with my 5 year old daughter eating ice cream in an air conditioned house. As much as I love to do that I also love to hike through the mountains and I know that it may be now or never to do that so that is what I try to remind myself each night I go to sleep and each morning I wake up here on the AT.
I had a nice zero day and plan to go to bed soon so I can wake up at 4 am and start hiking by 4;30 in order to get most of my hiking done before the heat builds up during the day. By the way yesterday I saw a black bear in front of me on the trail only 75 feet away. He moved into the thick woods before I could turn my phone on to get a picture. I don’t mind seeing bears, it’s the rattle snakes I hope I don’t see.
Good night everyone and tomorrow I begin my first steps into the NJ part of the AT