Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One Last Stop

Pulling into Atlanta, the train passed by a landscape dusted with snow like powdered sugar. I hadn't slept very well, as the train seat was just big enough to lure me into thinking that there was a comfortable position, possibly, somewhere. If I just kept rolling around I was bound to find it eventually, right? Ms. McCann, it is with great sadness that we inform you that you are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I ended up curled like a cat with my feet jammed against Mike's ribs, because that's how I show I love him. The lights "dimmed" overnight in the train, but it was still pretty bright, so I wrapped my head in my fleece like a balaclava to block the light out. When I woke up, my body was freezing cold but my head was encased in a ball of sweaty warmth. It's what I imagine it must feel like to be a candle.

I groaned and untangled myself from Mike, kicking him in the head a few times because that is another way I show him I love him. I grabbed my toothbrush and swayed my way down the train car, headed to the bathroom.

I pulled open the bathroom door and there was a large man with a larger white beard sitting on the toilet. He grunted at me. I let out a high-pitched squeak sound that could possibly interpreted as "sorry," though I probably sounded more like a dog's toy rubber goose. I closed the door again and the "occupied" light blinked on a few moments later. I stood outside the bathroom, clutching my toothbrush in front of me like a lantern to light my way down the path of shame. Some time later, the man emerged.

"Y'all don't wanna go in there," he advised.


"Somebody's done made a mess."

And then he was gone, like Santa up the chimney. Except instead of presents, he left me a clogged toilet, whose brightly colored contents swayed dangerously in the toilet bowl with the movement of the train. I thought about using the sink anyway because I only had to brush my teeth, but I didn't want the Christmas Miracle to be blamed on me, so I headed into another train car to find the facilities.

In the next train car, the bathroom was also occupied. I waited for a solid 5 minutes, but there was no sign of the occupation ending, so I went to the next car. Somewhere in this quest to find a bathroom, my body decided I needed to pee. Desperately. The third bathroom was also occupied, and I couldn't help but start to feel a little bit like Goldilocks on the first part of her journey- before she is eaten by bears. That's how that story ends, right?

Eventually the last bathroom let out and I was free to relieve myself, as well as brush my teeth. I thought about how much I was looking forward to not having to wait to use any facilities. However, there is a rule that you have to be 100 yards off the trail, which means there may be several instances in the future of me crashing through the woods, scattering the wildlife, desperate to find somewhere to let fly. With this desperation comes the added danger of accidentally squatting in poison ivy- a fear that civilized life has saved me from, up until this point.

Mike, Nick and I were picked up at the train station by John, who is Jessica's fantastic, hilarious and endlessly patient father. He took us out to eat at the Flying Biscuit, an Atlanta breakfast place that has grits that nearly reduced me to tears. John also took us around to complete the last of our errands, and made us a delicious dinner, which we ate while watching Indiana Jones. Jessica's mom Connie came home after work, and we all did some trail planning. We love them and we couldn't ask for a better launching pad.

Our packs are officially ready to go, which is terrifying. Now that water weight is added, my pack is significanly heavy. But it's okay, because my legs are going to be tree trunks eventually. We're getting up at 4:30am tomorrow and heading out into the wilderness.

This captures my feelings perfectly:


(this is from a commerical for Disneyland that played before the VHS version of the Lion King)


  1. We are so excited for you!! And Super JEALOUS!

  2. It was so nice to meet you today. I hope you have a wonderful trip and I look forward to following along here in blogland.
    Dahlonega GA

  3. I REMEMBER THAT COMMERICIAL. it's so true. Be safe my love!
    Miss you!!!!

  4. I laughed pretty hard at "Somebody's done made a mess."