Rain Rain go away!

Tuesday August 29, 2017

Warspur Shelter 18.2 miles

Total mileage 1522.4

I was the only one at the shelter last night so I take over the whole thing. I woke up early and get packed up. Then it starts to rain. Since it is still dark out I decide to wait until it gets light out to start hiking. It gets light but it is still raining so I unpack some of my gear and go back to bed. I don’t want to hike in the rain. It is still raining at 8:45 and I can’t go back to sleep so I decide to hike out in the rain. It isn’t raining that hard and the trees help to block some of it.

Unfortunately the trail leads me over some large slate rocks and when wet that are really slippery. I do slide once on them but don’t fall. I have a fall later. I trip over something and scrap up my right knee.πŸ€• It not to bad.

The rain lasts for hours, but at least it is light and I pretty much stay dry except for the socks and shoes. Their soaked! πŸ™

I do have some good views and I take pictures in the rain. I also entertain myself by listening to an audio book. I also pass a 300 year old Kiefer Oak tree. It was huge.

My feet feel pretty good the last two days, but I took my last dose of ibuprofen tonight. I hope the pain doesn’t come back tomorrow.

Today day I am thankful for dry shoes and socks which I lack today, but maybe tomorrow.

Dragons Tooth

Monday August 28, 2017

Niday Shelter 22.7 miles

Total mileage 1504.2

Our shuttle driver, HOMER was late this morning. He wrote the time down wrong on his calender. We still get a pretty early start at 6:40 am. HOMER is 75 and he ran his first marathon last year with his daughter. He ran it in four hours at age 74, an hour faster than my best time. πŸ˜€

It was a pretty easy start to the day until we got to the climb to Dragons Tooth. That’s when the rock scrambling began. It was a little scary but definitely easier than some of the stuff I have done up north. I shouldn’t have anymore scary areas going forward or at least that is what I have been told.

The views were great and we had pretty good weather. It actually cooled off pretty good toward the late afternoon. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain.

I said goodbye or see you later to THE OLD GUY this evening. His wife drove up from NC and picked him up and he will zero tomorrow. I still may see him further south. He has a 110 mile section down south that he has already done this year and doesn’t need to do it again. It was a pleasure to hike with him. We hike at the same speed and are both early birds. I will miss him.

Guess what I get to see Jim on Thursday. I’m so excited. 😊

My feet did great today. I have been taking ibuprofen and had a couple of hot bath tub soaks and it has really helped.

Today I am thankful for my freedom and those that have served our country.

McAfee Knob

Sunday August 27, 2017

VA 311 19.8 miles

Total mileage 1481.5

I wake up this morning and my feet feel better. I also took some ibuprofen last night. I hope this is a good sign.

We arranged for a shuttle driver to pick us up at 6 am and we will slackpack today. THE OLD GUY found a number for a shuttle driver in his information book in his room. I call the number and see what he has to offer. The shuttle is reasonable and he doesn’t mind the early hour.

As I was hiking I was listening to AWOL’s account of his 2004 thru hike and in his book he talked about a shuttle driver named HOMER. It turns out that he was our shuttle driver this morning.

HOMER has an interesting story. He wants to hike the AT and he and his wife have already hiked 1400 miles of it already, but he really doesn’t think he should quit his job. His wife encourages him to quit his job and the whole family is going with him. So he, his wife and two kids ages 8 and 11 thru hike the entire AT in 2002. I thought this was an awesome story. He also tells us that he got married on McAfee Knob then backpacked to Tinker Cliffs for their wedding night. They now spend all their wedding anniversaries at Tinker Cliffs. This is the area we passed today and the views were amazing. I can see why they come here!

THE OLD GUY and I make it to McAfee Knob, the most photoed place on the AT early this morning and it is a total whiteout. We still take pictures of each other out on the ledge.

We started our climb in the dark with light sprinkles this morning at 6:30 am and on our way up about 15 day hikers pass us on their way back down! πŸ€₯ My guess is they went up to see sunrise, but there was nothing to see. This ledge is where HOMER and his wife THERESA got married.

Later on the fog lifted and the sun came out and we had the best views from Tinker Cliffs. This was the best view we have seen in Virginia. The trail just walks along a ledge with huge drops offs and amazing views.

We eat lunch at one of the ledges and just enjoy the spectacular views.

We finish the day and arrive back at our hotel room at 4 pm. I shower then soak in the tub again. Hopefully tomorrow morning my feet will feel good again.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be on this epic journey.

My feet ache!

Saturday August 26, 2017

US 220 Daleville, VA 18.5 miles

Total mileage 1461.7

THE OLD GUY and I arrive at the shelter last night and we are the only ones there. We decide to sleep in the shelter since it is just the two of us. There is not a bear pole or box and there doesn’t look to be any good trees to hang our food in so we just decide to keep our food inside the shelter with us. Things were fine, no bears or mice bothered us.

We were up and out by 6:20. We covered the 18.5 miles by 3pm. There was a Howard Johnson just a 100 yards from where the trail crossed US 220 and that is where we are staying tonight. My room has a king size bed and a bath tub. Oh what bliss this is. I take a shower then soak in the tub for a while. I was hoping the soak would make my feet all better but that was not the case. They still hurt.

We had some more amazing views again today. The temperature was really good. It was nice and cool when we started and we had cloud cover for most of the day. I have noticed that the leaves are starting to fall. It looks like we may have an early fall.

We do run into a few hikers today. Yesterday we didn’t see any hikers.

The water sources along the trail are really starting to dry up so I really have to make sure I plan ahead. Water is heavy and I hate to carry it but I also have to have it. CHOCOHOLIC is about a week ahead of me on the trail and she has been great about posting up dates on water availability. Thanks CHOCOHOLIC! ☺️

Today I am thankful for the Guthooks app that gives me all kinds of trail information and hikers can post updates on it as well. This is where I have been getting my water updates.

Day 124

Friday August 25, 2017

Bobblets Gap Shelter 18.4 miles

Total mileage 1443.4

I leave Stanimals Hostel in Glasgow for the last time. Bob our shuttle driver takes us, THE OLD GUY and me back to the trail. I start out with 2.5 liters of water. Our first water source is 15 miles in. At this water stop I get 4 liters of water since the shelter we are going to doesn’t have water. I had to carry that water 3 miles. I didn’t think I was going to make it. It was heavy.

The water sources are starting to dry up. Some of the plant life on the sides of the trail are also starting to wilt.

We hit the trail about 7am. The temperature is cool and I enjoy it. Although it wasn’t as cool as yesterday, because we lacked the cloud cover today, it was still a nice day.

We had more awesome views. We are walking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I see no other hikers along the trail today. I only see site seers on the Blue Ridge Parkway at an overlook. Yesterday on trail I only see a few day hikers.

I am starting to have quite a bit of foot pain. It is mostly in my right foot. Jim is bringing me new shoes next week. I am due. These shoes now have over 700 miles on them. I am so excited that Jim is coming up to see me. May was the last time I saw him. The day can’t get here soon enough for me!

I see four deer on the trail today. They are just so tame. They must watch you walk by.

Today I am thankful for dry grass. No wet shoes and socks for me today.

Gorgeous Day!

Thursday August 24, 2017

Cornelius Creek Shelter 19.9 miles

Total mileage 1424.4

Today was gorgeous! We, THE OLD GUY and I started hiking at 6:45. It was a cool morning. I had cold hands and a cold nose for a while. We were so grateful for the weather. The last few days it has been really hot and I haven’t wanted to eat much.

The sights were green and beautiful. While the trail wasn’t easy it wasn’t difficult either. We had many good views today.

I was much hungrier today than I have been in the past few days. I think it is because of the heat and maybe a little dehydration. Today I was hungry and tried to eat more to get my weight back up. It dropped to 112.2.

I was thinking about a song today and couldn’t remember the words so I ask THE OLD GUY and he knew them:

I’m Popeye the sailor man.

I live in a garbage can.

I only swim with bowlegged woman.

I’m Popeye the sailor man.

There is a lot of time out here for many thoughts.

1400 Miles

Wednesday August 23, 2017

US 501 Glasgow, VA

Total mileage 1404.9

I slept well last night at the hostel. I had the room to myself and I even had my own toilet. The caretaker, Donna told me it was an emergency toilet since the house only had one bathroom for everyone. The toilet was in a small closet. So small that you can’t close the door so everyone has to leave the bedroom that the closet was in so you could have some privacy. It was great for me since I was the only one in here.

Our shuttle driver, Bob takes us back to the trail at 6 am. THE OLD GUY is slackpacking with me again today. It is sprinkling. The chance of rain today is only 20%. We hit the trail at 6:40 and the rain stops shortly after. I make THE OLD GUY lead so he gets all the cobwebs for me. It’s a nice treat. We have cloud cover until noon. I am so grateful for this. Even with the cloud cover I am a sweaty mess.

We take a break for lunch at the top of Bluff Mountain. There is a monument there for little Ottie Cline Powell. He wandered away from the school house while collecting fire wood and his body was found at the top of this mountain. He wasn’t even 5 years old yet and the top of this mountain was 7 miles from the school house.

The rest of the day is a struggle for me. I was tired after lunch and my feet were getting sore. We finish at 3:40 pm and our shuttle driver was there waiting on us with the car running and the AC on. The cool air felt so good and I am thankful I get to shower tonight.

When Jim and I talked last night we made plans to see each other. We are hoping that Jim can move a physical therapy appointment and that he will be able to drive up to see me. I am so excited about this. Babydoll, be warned I’m going to slobber kisses all over you when I see you.

I am thankful for chocolate! The world’s best treat.

Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.

Tuesday August 22, 2017

US 60 Buena Vista, VA 16.7 miles

Total mileage 1383.1

My campsite last night was amazing. I camped at almost 3800 feet and it cooled off a bit earlier than normal at that elevation. I woke up to the sound of wind in the trees. It was really breezy at 4 am when I needed to pee. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I started to pack up a little after 5 and hiked the first half hour in the dark. It was supposed to be in the 90’s today so I was trying to beat some of the heat.

I saw one north bound flip flopper about to finish his hike in Harper’s Ferry. We talked a short moment about what we could expect trail wise going forward. I congratulated him on his almost completion of his thru-hike and moved on.

The trail wasn’t too strenuous, but the heat made things feel that way at times. There were some balds with no shade that really get to you.

I did have another fall today. I think I just tripped over my feet. I was going down hill on a grassy field. The foot path was narrow and you really couldn’t walk normal. You had to walk with your feet almost in line with each other. Anyways I end up on the ground on my belly with my pack holding me down. It was a struggle to get up with all that weight on my back while I was at a downward angle. I got a tiny little scratch on one of my knees.

I finished my hike at 1 pm. I was being picked up by a shuttle service and taken into town where I will stay at a hostel for the next few nights and do some slackpacking over the next couple of days. I have the whole room to myself tonight. What a treat.

I am thankful that I have remained relatively injury free for most of this hike.

Solar Eclipse

Monday August 21, 2017

Stealth camping @ 1366.4 19.4 miles

Total mileage 1366. 4

So I totally missed the solar eclipse today. I just forgot about. I know it was today because I had talked to another hiker about it this morning and I even had spacial glasses to view it with. SITSU brought them to me when he took me out to lunch. I was just so worried about this huge climb today that it just slipped my mind. I can even remember thinking during my climb that the sun is behind a cloud and that it was a nice relief from the heat. That was such a blonde moment. Oh well…

I had a 3000 foot climb 10 miles into my day today with temperatures in the upper 80’s. It just fried my brain. I started the climb at 11 am and took a break for lunch at noon. Shortly after continuing the climb I was stung by a wasp in my thumb. It swelled up pretty good and hurt like hell.

I finished the climb at 2:15 and arrived at the shelter I was thinking of staying at but the place didn’t really appeal to me so I hiked on to another campsite. Plus it was a little early to quit in the day.

I found a sweat grassy meadow to call home for the night and a great place to hang my bear bag. Although I got my line tangled in the tree. I was able to get it out, but on another try I wasn’t so lucky. I ended up having to cut the line. So I now have two short pieces of bear line tied together. 😠 Now I’m off my sore feet and relaxing. Yeah.

Slackpacking

Sunday August 20, 2017

Reeds GAP, VA 19.6 miles

Total mileage 1347

I had a hiking partner today. First time in a while that I have hiked with someone. THE OLD GUY, decided to slackpack with me today. We hiked about the first 10 miles together then he stopped to take a break and I hiked on then I stopped for a break and he passed me, but we ended up finishing together. It cool to have someone new to hike with. It makes the time go by fast. THE OLD GUY is an early bird like me so we hit the trail about 6:45 this morning and finished up at 2:30.

I am back at the hostel all showered up and clean. I’ve gone through my gear and am ready to head out tomorrow. I’ve got a 3000 foot climb tomorrow in the heat of the day with a full pack that I’m NOT looking to forward to. Oh well, I’ll just have to gut it out.

HOOTIE came into the hostel today. I haven’t seen him since the Whites in NH. He is still about 20 miles behind me since I hiked forward but got shuttled back to the hostel and I think he plans to take a zero here too. He is a stronger hiker than I so I believe he will catch me.

I don’t have any exciting wildlife photos today. I didn’t see any bears or deer.

I’m not sure what this is. I saw it along the trail and it looked pretty cool. I couldn’t believe how big it was.

I am thankful for the opportunities to slackpack and give my body a rest from carrying my pack. I am also thankful for the company that I had today.