Day 45 – IAT Mile 864.8 to 889.5

Feet dictate my days.  If it were up to my tree trunk size legs, I’d be doing 30+ miles everyday.  The muscles in my body have always been quick to bulk up and adapt.  As a child, my friends were always bigger than me in both weight and height, but that never stopped me from tossing them around like rag dolls.  I didn’t always win, but rarely, if ever, was I out muscled.  My body’s ability to quickly build muscles and adapt always makes me wonder what life would have been like had I been raised a coal miner or farmer.  What an intimidating band of foot soldiers my short and stocky Urbany descendants would have made back in the days of axes and swords.

These musings and recounts of genetic prowess are not meant to say I was born with weak feet.  What I’m really trying to convey is a trail truth – feet break before the muscles do.  This is a truth for long distance hiking, a scale that begins to tip after a week or so, if even that long.  There are always other factors at play, of course, but not a single one matters if you’re feet aren’t up for the task.

My feet have felt great over the past few days.  A couple blisters have popped on my right foot, pinky toe & heel.  It’s hard to say wether the new foot fiends are a result of new shoes needing to soften up or from walking through sandy horse paths that flood into every shoe hole.  Whatever the cause, they are annoying but not game changers.  This is how the IAT can bring you down though, sandy trails to invade the shoe and road walks to grind the dirt against your feet as you pound the pavement.  Gaters to help stop dirt and periodic emptying of the shoe are my preferred methods of defense.  

Today’s hike through Scuppernog, Waterville and Lapham Peak were very beautiful and took me a little longer than yesterday’s hike.  The group met me along the trail again for lunch today, this time with BLTs.  Leave it to Penny to find an easy way to whip up warm BLT trail magic from the back of her truck in the middle of nowhere.  I had two fully loaded sandwiches before taking off, Curt once again joining me for the afternoon hike.

Curt & I’s favorite part of the hiking day was the Lapham Observatory Tower.  Aside from the little shit who poured water on us from the top, it was a fun place to break.  You can see for miles in every direction from the top of the tower and the climb to get there was not nearly as challenging as it looked on paper.  

Our paths turned into paved walkways as we left Lapham and headed into the town of Delafield. Delafield’s paths took us down a river walk and past veteran war memorial stones, one for each of the great wars with placards that told brief tales.  A very enjoyable walk.  Delafield is a cute little hiker, biker and dog friendly town, they even have an outdoor outfitter store next to an ice cream shop.  

Our day ended at the ice cream shop, for mint chocolate chip reasons.