Lauren was able to check in by phone tonight. She is likely to be in Hamton, Tennessee, AT Mile 421 on the evening of Thursday 4/27/17.
She is/has: is managing the rain. Has a great hiking partner. Is enjoying other people picking up the pace around her. Is struggling to get her calories in. Is in good condition physically. Is not minding the mud too much. Is trying to avoid shelters. Has woken up to a mouse on her head when sleeping in a shelter. Is eager for sunshine. Has a few blisters now that she swapped shoes and retired her Topo Athletic and switched to Pearl N3 Trail. Is psyched her friend Nikki has a plane ticket to visit in June or July (forgot). Is excited to see Travis in May, is annoyed by know it all 21 year olds, is making new friends. Is sick of potheads, is afraid of bears after meeting a couple in Erwin, Tennessee who had their bear bags destroyed by a bear. Is thankful for hotels and the simple pleasures of cleanliness, comfort and warmth. Is soaked every day due to humidity, is making poor food choices in town. Is doing a great job not comparing this trail to the PCT. Is on target with her goal pace. Is experiencing some pack chafe due to no lumbar support.
Most importantly: Is glad she is doing this.