Total Miles: 2,710.9
Hamlin, Germany – November 10, 2016
I resented the silver-blue jacket for a hundred and forty days. Its light down and slippery nylon sat stuffed in the bottom of my bag day after day, mile after mile, dead weight, useless except as a makeshift pillow.
I don’t resent it anymore.
More snow fell last night, adding to the white blanket covering the high hills. Footprints disappeared. Tree limbs sagged a bit lower. My arms slipped into my jacket and I forgave the miles it sat waiting for today.
“Just keep moving,” I told myself.
My fingers numbed as I packed my bag. Then tingled warm as I walked up a hill. Then a bit of sweat ran down my back. I shoved the jacket away in my pack and kept on, adding gloves, removing hats, switching pieces of clothing in and out as I walked and stopped and walked again, trying to keep just on the right side of warm.
As night fell, I sat in my tent and watched city lights twinkle below me. My breath came out in frozen clouds. The snow was almost gone, but the cold remained, chilling the air, ready to freeze the ground’s wet leaves into crisps.
I pulled my jacket tight, hood over my head, fabric and down holding a pocket of warmth against the chill.
“I love this jacket,” I thought to myself. “Worth every mile.”