Sorry everyone! I know you guys hang on my every word, so it must have been really upsetting to check the blog last night and find that there were no new posts. Good friends, good basketball, and great beer got the best of me this weekend, and I inadvertently shirked one of the only obligations I have left. Now let's see, where did we leave off...
Wendy and I had a nice, short hike into the parking lot near Franklin. No sooner did our boots hit the asphalt than a ride into town appeared. The infamous Baltimore Jack from Mountain Crossing Outfitters pulled up in a minivan, rolled down the window, and said "get in". And away we went.
Our arrival into Franklin could not have been better timed. Once a year, the city throws a "hiker bash" festival, complete with day and night time activities for thru hikers. Some of the downtown roads were sectioned off so that local artists, vendors, and friends of the trail could set up booths and displays. Mom and Dad, you would have loved it. Throngs of thru hikers have taken over the city. It's really awesome being a thru hiker in a hiker town. You really feel like a small part of something bigger than yourself.
As if the festival weren't enough, Wendy and I are also getting to spend the Easter/Wendy's birthday weekend with Wendy's family and fiancé, Jess! I haven't seen Jess since she graduated from Georgia Southern last May, so it was great to finally get to see her and catch up. Wendy's parents have been very kind and generous,feeding us extremely well, doing our laundry, and giving us rides around town so we can run our hiker errands. They even brought me an Easter basket and really made me feel like a part of the family. I cannot thank them enough for the hospitality :).
I could write at length about this weekend, and about the entire trip in general. It's only been two weeks, but I can already feel subtle changes that the trail is making on my life. Don't worry, I'll go into more detail about this as I make my way down the trail. Hopefully more time and reflection will enable me to take some of my raw emotions and transforms them into words. Right now, the experience as a whole feels indescribable.
Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I'm actually doing something this cool. I mean really, how awesome is this?!
See ya down the trail!