Today was another very tough day. My feet hurt like hell from the very first steps out of camp. I spent the entire day limping along slowly with the mantra, “Just keep walking.”
And I had an unwanted companion for most of the morning. He was really chatty and kept telling me how he had less than $300 to get to Canada. I just wanted to be alone.
The only good part of the experience was that standing, talking to him, I noticed my right trekking pole has an injury on top, so now I can tell which is which by looking at the top.
But I discovered that by taking very few, and very short breaks, I was able to keep up or even pass most other hikers. But I called it quits before four with the idea of giving my feet a solid 14 hours of rest. Unfortunately, everyone else decided to camp there too, so it was much more crowded than I like. But I had a spot on the edge, with a nice view and a rock to lean on, so it wasn’t too bad.
They had hiked in beer, but I didn’t feel I was “trail family” enough yet to crash their party.
The other thing that happened today was I got a trail name. I was passing by Cribbage and he asked my name, and when I said Adam, he said, “What no trail name? ” I said “No, I haven’t earned one yet.” He said, “What about “Glide”, because you just seem to flow down the trail like everything is perfect in the world, like you could just glide on up to Canada.” Apparently, I exude a kind of calm confidence, and easy-going manner.
A trail name is not to be taken lightly, and I thought about it for an hour or so on the way to Tule Spring. I think it’s original. I think I can live up to it. I think it fits me in many ways. A bunch of hikers were hanging out at the spring, so when I got there I thanked Cribbage, and accepted the name formally, in front of God and everybody.
Until I get to Canada, and on any long trails afterwards, and among the thru-hiker community forevermore, I shall be known as Glide.