Appalachian Trail: Sam’s Gap to Hogback Ridge Shelter

Conversations While Hiking

“I’m sorry, I need to stop again.”

“Don’t say sorry. You’re doing great.”


“What kind of mushroom is that?”



“You wouldn’t want to.”

“You ready to go again?”

“Yea. Sorry for stopping.”

“Don’t say sorry.”



“Need to stop?”


“No worries.”


“Don’t say sorry.”

“I said fuck.”

“Yes you did.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t say sorry.”

And pretty much on like that until we reached the shelter. I gotta say that I haven’t spoken such perfect fucking French since high school. See? Walking in the woods is already making me feel younger.

Sort of.

Anyway. Michael and I have walked together before, and usually we stick together. But on this section of the AT we quickly found that it was far more pleasant to let him walk ahead in his tall-person-in-great-shape stride and for me to plod along in my short-person-with-a-case-of-ADD-in-not-great-shape- stride. This allowed me to move along slowly but surely and observe as many plants, flowers, and mushrooms along the side of the trail as I wanted- without feeling like I was running to keep up with him and then needing to stop every 15 feet because I was out of breath. Michael, on the other hand, likes to eat up the trail and then take long rests around views and other natural stops.

So our new method looks like this- Michael and I both walk at our normal paces, and when he gets to the top of a hill or a view, he stops and takes a drink from his water. I eventually catch up to him, we exchange pleasantries (Me: “Faaaaaahk. Sorry.” Him: “Don’t say sorry.”), and we move on.

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