The heat has become oppressively unbearable. Our mile worn bodies have had the last energy sucked from them by it. Determined to make our miles though, we woke up early to beat some of the heat, but the night air had brought little relief and the humidity was so thick the sun had to rise quite high to rid its red tint. We plodded six miles to White House Landing (an old logging camp) and were surprised to find a hiker’s paradise. We knew of the food available here, but the pristine lake, games of horseshoes and chess and giant hammock were a surprise. Hardened by the many mils of hiking and fixed on our goal, we did what any hard-core hiker would have done; through our schedule out the window and took the rest of the day off. It was the realization that we were hiking to find and enjoy places like this quiet retreat that halted our self-imposed death march. So we spent the day reading and napping in the hammock, interrupted by frequent swims to cool us off. I know I will enjoy my last few days better because of this.
And so what that I finish on Sunday instead of Saturday? Part of me wants to be done, to complete the pilgrimage, but more of me wants to enjoy every second of what is left. missing the forest because you are fixated on the trees would be the greatest mistake of the trip. Tomorrow I will wake up with stronger resolve to finish than ever, but for now the mountain isn’t going anywhere. The ever burning question of what I will do when I go back home is getting harder to push away. But that is tomorrow’s worry, or the day after’s, but today’s Piper doesn’t care about tomorrow’s Piper. For now I will enjoy my evening and sit on the dock with my feet in the water listening to the loons call. Ahh the life I lead.