The morning’s climb was easy enough but again, we got a late start. I was not at all in my usual rhythm, waking up really early, hiking and stopping to take a closer look at things and getting into camp early. Instead, it had become waking up late, starting late, finishing late and rushing the entire time. I also realized that I had been hiking with Paul for quite some time and was wondering if I was doing the right thing by continuing to do so. By the afternoon, I felt a wave of confusion set it. I was hot and didn’t have enough water to drink. By the time we got to the midpoint shelter, it was still early in the day but I felt fatigued and really like the view and the shelter itself. I began to think. Was this the point where we had to split? Should I stay behind for the sake of my thru-hiking experience? What would it be like in a few days? Are we going to hike the rest of the trail together? On one hand, I really wanted to stay at Tillotson shelter but I didn’t want to stop so early in the day. I was frustrated with my inability to make up my mind about what I wanted – sound familiar, anyone? It would also really screw things up as far as miles and shelter and food over the next few days if I stayed. Finally, lunch was over and I turned to the measure I knew best, my gut feeling. It was also confused as hell. After all, I came here to thru-hike the Long Trail on my own, to experience solitude and to challenge myself, not be doing it alongside someone else. But for one reason or another, I didn’t want to stay at Tillotson shelter, so I decided to keep walking.