Total Miles: 1922.8
Walking out of Shelter Cove this morning after a coffee, shower, and laundry, it felt palpable that there had been a change in mood for all of us. A pleasant evening by the lake followed by a little extra sleep and the leisurely morning had certainly done me a bit of good, putting me back in the right frame of mind and looking forward to getting back on the trail. It's remarkable how quickly things can turn one way or the other out there--without the usual distractions of daily life back home that we've all grown accustomed to, it's amazing what the mind will create. It can be your most valued asset one day and your most formidable adversary the next. I've been fortunate most of my life that a few minutes of peace and a night's sleep--even as someone who sleeps notoriously poorly--is often all that's required to hit the mental reset button. Emily certainly put it best: "Over 1800 miles in and your first bad day? That's not so bad, right?" It was all I needed to break the spell.
Back among the sanctity of the tall trees, dappled sunlight was the order of the day which was a welcome atmosphere on yet another hot day. We passed by a number of turquoise-hued small lakes nestled among the trees, each tempting us with the prospect of a swim that we never took advantage of. As the afternoon wore on and I listened to another audiobook, I played around with taking a photo while hiking which produced a strangely interesting effect in the trees that towered over me...
It's been quite a long time since I camped at the shore of a lake on the trail, and we were all in agreement at how much we'd missed being able to while we sat eating dinner at the lake's edge. The entire scene brought back great memories of lakes along the Appalachian Trail in Maine and all the times my Dad and I had camped together along lakes like this in all of our trips together. Reflecting on such cherished memories is the most satisfying way I can think of to end a day on the trail.