Dan's Amazing Journey 2017 (April 1)
By Karen L Amundson, May 21 2017 08:36PM
Day 15 (12.6 miles, 3,300 verticals feet)
I was a little sad last night. Nobody that I knew was at the Weser shelter, & this was the first night I didn't know anybody at a camping spot. It was cold raining & windy when I tore down camp. I was on the trail by 8am as usual, & proceeded on a treacherous steep decent that I came to find out later others found difficult when dry. For me it was a greasy 1" deep river with periodic 6' boulders to descend. By 11am I had descended the 2,400' to the NOC, where I had previously posted about my lunch.
After I stuffed that 1 pound burger down, I talked with one of the Warrior Expedition guys. Since he had gotten to know me over the past few days, he started to open up to me. I admit to living a somewhat sheltered life, & have never known anyone whom suffers from PTSD. Let me tell you, this is no joke. These guys are brainwashed by the army to think they are the biggest bad-asses that are better than everyone else, & to assume everyone is out to get them. While this may be prudent in the war in Iraq, where he served for 7 long years, it makes for difficult integration back into society back in the states. He can't be in groups of 5 or more without feeling uncomfortable. If people are eating at a restaurant, they need to get his food to go, because he can't handle all the people, & starts thinking people are out to get him. When he passes people going the other direction on the trail, he thinks they are scouts whom are going to signal others forward on the trail to jump him. He is just about the nicest guy I have ever met & it pains me to see him struggle so much. He feels much better on the trail than he does on town days. I sincerely hope that the trail brings him some of the peace he deserves.
Apparently my first flower pic was too easy for some of you, so take a crack at the little 3" flower in pic 1 & let me know what it is.
After lunch, the trail started climbing out of the valley. There was a tribute to a fire fighter that lost his life fighting a forest fire the year I was born. I have nothing but admiration & respect for those that fight forest fires, & I hope his family knows how many people get to enjoy the trail & forest he gave his life to protect.
As I mentioned the trail climbed & climbed. I hiked uphill for 3.5 hours, climbing 3,300' without so much as a flat spot in the trail. This was the longest single climb by far, & my legs were shot when I rolled into the Sassafras Shelter at 5:15pm.
The wind was still blowing, & you could see your breath, so I cooked dinner & laid out my sleeping quilt in the shelter for the first time. It was a double decker, holding 6 tired hikers on each level. I was so cold & tired, I didn't have it in me to type my post, & went to sleep quickly.