Saturday, June 2, 2001

day 21, Little Laurel S, NC

Start:  Hot Springs, NC (Elmer's)
End:  Little Laurel Shelter
Miles:  19.6 today, 290.5 total

Laura and me before I left Hot Springs

Yesterday, Laura, Chris, and I walked over to Dan "Wingfoot" Bruce's house and talked with him for awhile on his front porch. He's pretty famous among thru-hikers, he's hiked the whole trail like 7 times, written some books, has gotten into internet stuff in the past few years. In fact, he was having some guys install some sort of satellite internet connection for faster use while we were there. Anyway, he was saying some pretty neat stuff. Apparently, after hiking for awhile, the lower half of the body begins to change, as in, the bones thicken. They don't expand, they grow inside, the marrow portion shrinks. It's because you've tricked your legs into thinking you're 40-50 lbs heavier. He also said your blood circulation improves somehow so you get 20-25% more lung capacity or something. And he said that when we get into southern VA, we'll start to notice that we can do more miles with less bodily stress, increase pace, etc. In essence, become super-hiker-athletes. So that's pretty neat.

Today was actually a pretty easy day even though it was just under 20 miles. I'm wondering if that super athlete thing is happening now. I'm here in the shelter with Jason (he left Robin to hike his own hike, Robin might quit the trail now after their falling-out). Another 20ish day tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

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