We woke up early due to the blistering heat and left camp around 9. We headed into town to resupply and get some food. We have been feeling the extra weight of the computer and all our electronic devices we choose to carry right now. Walking along the road to get into town the weight and heat started to really get to us. We are now talking about going back to slack packing. I know, I know, “Make up your minds already,” is what most must be thinking and to that we say – get off our hike! That’s our new favorite expression we’ve picked up from Porch and Tumbleweed that we say to each other when offered advice on what moves we should make.
We first went to Kent pizza garden, sat in the air conditioning, ate pizza and drank a pitcher of pbr while mulling over the many options we have. If ever in Kent, check this place out. The pizza was almost as amazing as the people who work there. We then went in to the IGA to resupply and came across a few other thru hikers lying under trees, passing out from heat all over the town. When we saw that we were not the only ones feeling the heat, this made us feel a lot better. I think Dion is experiencing heat stroke, it’s in the mid-nineties and no matter how much water he drinks or ice pops he eats, he is feeling completely out of it. So, rather than suffer and not enjoy our trip we are going to go get our Jeep. We decide to call the ever so amazing Bill and Amy to and ask if they could come scoop us up and we were in luck, Amy was free and within an hour she was there.
We have realized that we need to stop comparing our hike, our way of hiking, our pack weight and our gear to everyone else around us. They are 3/4 of the way done, they’ve been through what we are going through already, we just weren’t there to see it because we started in Harpers Ferry, and we are hiking with a 5 year old. Christian isn’t having any trouble whatsoever, it is us that are still buckling under the weight of all our gear and can not keep up. Slack packing our gear will allow us to get the 15 mile average we are hoping for, and up to Maine a heck of a lot quicker. Dion will be able to work while we travel without having to carry his computer because when he has work, we will plan for a zero day, stay somewhere with wifi so he can knock out his assignment and then move along. This does however mean that I will not be able to say that I have completed a thru hike this year. I am going to drive up ahead and carry all of our gear to where we choose to stay, then pack it out back to the car in the morning and repeat. I will try to choose roads and camping spots that will allow me to get in some miles each day, but this hike is about Christian. It’s about coming together as a family to support this amazing kid on this journey and see to it that he finishes. Dion is going to keep moving north each day with him so he can complete a thru hike too, this is important to both of us.