Today’s Miles: 13.3
Total Miles: 313.1
I almost didn’t move. I almost spent the day staring at the grey walls of my tent, watching rain drops pop against the fabric, pool together, and run in little rivers off the sides. I almost thought it was too late to start, six in the evening, even for a few miles.
But I got up anyway, not really knowing why, just needing to move again. I brushed as much water off my tent as I could, shook it off, and walked.
Rain came and went, the wind came and went, the bugs came and went, and I walked, feeling like the last person on earth as the grey clouds pressed down on the world.
Then I noticed footprints in the mud and a tent appeared in front of me.
They were as surprised to see me as I was to see them, both of us assuming we were the only crazy people out in the constant rain.
Two fishermen from Switzerland, Fritz and Christof. Their poles stood in a line next to their tent, resting for the night, waiting for the morning.
The three of us stood in the rain, chatting, excited to have someone else to share a moment with, promising each other that tomorrow’s weather would be better than today’s. I asked about Switzerland and crossing the Alps late in the year. Fritz laughed and said it was so far away that maybe I will arrive in summer.
“Maybe,” I said.
“Do you want some fish?” they asked.
And then I knew why I dragged myself out into the rain, why I packed up my wet tent, why I slipped on wet socks and wet shoes, and slogged through water-soaked bogs, because luck sometimes smiles on you in the cold, wet moments.
Christof handed me a bag with fillets of trout pulled from the river that day. An hour later, I cooked them on my little stove, boiling them with bean and potato soup. Then I sat in my tent and ate, listening to the rain pelt at the fabric, each spoonful of fish fighting away the cold of the day.