Day 70

Mon 18th June

Considering my camp spot  I had slept okay, my alarm went off at 5.30 I snoozed it. Finally emerging at 6 30.
I packed up in a hurry, but it still took me an hour before I stepped onto the trail.
I pushed on as it was already hot too hot far too hot. the forest was so humid that the water. was flowing out of me in minutes …. not a good sign.
As I made my way up towards the summit I was surprised on how little campsites / tent sites there were and thought myself lucky to have found that spot
Eventually I reached the top chemist was just packing up, but he would soon catch me.
After the summit I began to spiral down, but I was melting it was oh so hot. As I continued I saw an opening so went to see if there was a view. Yes, there was, and it was pretty good. I was just leaving when Batty came past hiya snail she said. As I continued down the trail I met a ranger coming up he wanted to see my pass. once he saw it he was happy and very chatty
I pushed on eventually meeting back up with Chemist who was getting water, so I stopped to fill up too.
The rest of the morning was climb and climb some more. I pushed on, but I was melting so finally took a break at 12pm a. hour earlier than I would have liked. I sat on a rock sweating.
I was so HOT and wet but not in a good way. after 30 mins I resumed my hike. but with a new goal.
My plan was now to get to the campground so a 16-mile day.
I was so tired and weary with more climbs to do that I wondered if I could make that.
Several hours later I came to a marker post. I had arrived.
I made my way along the side trail dropping down into the park. I walked not sure where I was going. Eventually I asked someone. Excuse me do you know where the store is.
Up on your left came the answer.
I walked on until I spied several other hikers. and the store.
I dropped my pack and walked inside where I ordered a pint of ice cream. 2 beers and a lemon soda.
I walked over to the other hikers who were sat at a picnic table and attacked my spoils.
the ice cream was delicious, and the lemonade quenched my thirst. I was now ready for beer
Once done I went back into the store brought bug spray, a tube of Pringles, another meal and another box of wine. I also enquired about a shower. A shower cost a buck, so I handed over money and she gave me. back 1/4s
I took off my shoes and socks and walked right in shampooing my clothes before stepping out of them.
I soaped myself again then I was done. I put on fresh dry gear before wringing out my dirty clothes. I was just getting my pack ready when Bumblebee and No-poles appeared.
Good choice on the wine I said
She laughed.
I stood up ready to leave when the heavens opened and so sat back down again. It was a good 20 minutes before the rain stopped, and then the pavements began to steam.
It was so difficult to leave but I must, the next shelter was about 2 miles away which would do me for the day.
I marched out of the camp and back to the trail and began to walk. but then was annoyed as there were other paths to the camp, much shorter than the one I came down arrh.
Okay 2 miles that’s about an hour. I pushed on until I came to the concrete marker post that informs you of landmarks in the Shenandoah park. The shelter or huts as they are called in the Shenandoah’s was down a side trail .1 mile the post said. I headed down and soon saw the hut. there were 4 section hikers there who I had been leapfrogging for most of the day.
They had tried to camp but got hit by the earlier rain. I went and found a tent site before returning to cook my food. I tried a new meal which was really tasty and washed it down with red wine. I cleaned up then put my food in a bear box. makes a changed not to put my food bag in a tree much easier.
miles walked 17

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Day 71

I woke early. retrieved my food from the box, packed up and was on the trail by 7.30 Good effort SNAIL.
I wanted some good Miles today as yesterday was a bit poor I headed up the trail with determination and looking forward to a good breakfast at the next wayside.

It was a good trail, not many climbs and a great surface.
Ping went my watch, wow I was really flying and should arrive much earlier, great I thought. As I came down a hill I could see a field of bee hives, but as I got nearer I could see that they were grave stones in a small cemetery. I was just crossing over the road she. I met 2 hikers coming the other way and they were both British. we chatted for a moment and they gave. e directions to the wayside.
I was soon at the wayside, I dropped my pack and placed it by the wall with my sticks before going inside and to the restaurant and found a seat. I ordered a large lemon soda and the BIG breakfast., I quickly drained my drink and as I put down the empty glass it was immediately swapped for another.
I was staring out of the window when and noticed Bumble Bee arriving. She dropped her pack next to mine and joined me at the table. My breakfast arrived, and I set to work on it.
It was good. I then I ordered another of the amazing BlackBerry Shakes. yummy.
When done I wandered through the store? brought a ham and cheese sub, a fruit salad and another box of wine for later.
I then sat in the sun for five minutes reorganizing my pack.
Omg I have spent almost 2 hours here. Dam lol okay I may not make the second shelter.
I set off leapfrogging Bumblebee for most of the afternoon, I was just starting another climb when I noticed 2 hikers standing in the trail.
Omg one was Squirrel.
“Hey Squirrel, great go sees you. I said
we chatted for a while, then Bumble bee caught us   and we chatted some more before moving on.
I was leading   until the climb started and so stopped for a break. Squirrel passed by and soon vanished up the trail. I followed on still leapfrogging Bumblebee until we arrived at a riding school. There were about a dozen young hikers sat around picnic tables.

Suddenly whoosh the heavens opened sending the hikers scurrying for shelter. I managed to get under the porch and put on my packs rain. cover on. Bumblebee did the same.
You know what Snail a hotel would be a good idea. “Said Bumble bee
I had to agree with her as the Lodge was .2 miles up the road
We made us to the lodge through the downpour and found the office. I booked a room little pricy but hey.

I then went and found the bar, Sat  inside was fish>
Hey fish   I  thought that you would be long gone
We did a few beers before I decided that I was hungry and  ordered some food Once eaten I explore the shop and brought several t-shirts and bits.
I then retrieved my backpack and went in search of my room. I should have done this much earlier as it was quite a distance away eventually I found if. Once inside I stripped off and had a lovely hot shower. I relaxed on the bed opened my wine and watched a film on the telly.

 

Shenandoah National Park extends along the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. The Skyline Drive runs its length, and a vast network of trails includes a section of the long-distance Appalachian Trail. Mostly forested, the park features wetlands, waterfalls and rocky peaks like Hawksbill and Old Rag mountains. Shenandoah is home to many bird species, plus deer, squirrels and the elusive black bear.

miles 17

Day 66. Beer Legs

Thursday

It was get to the Brewery day, a mere 18 miles easy right .
I finished my cup of tea and stowed my pot.
Okay snail easy day ,I  should  be there by  3pm I told myself.
I hoisted up my pack. I waved  goodbye to the other hikers as I passed by the shelter and back towards the trail. I hadn’t gone far when Bob appeared heading to the shelter that i had just left.
“Wow what time did you start Bob”.
it was a nice cool morning as  I pushed on, but the trail was not to my liking it was horrid rock.Luckily it  had been recently been cut back so was easier to walk along .
The trail now began to head down and quite dramatically . God it was steep I felt admiration for the trail guys doing down this with their weed whacker.
Every now and then there was a clearing where you could look down into the valley.
But I was in a hurry and so didn’t stop . The trail continued down and would continue for the next 3 miles. I pushed on happy in the fact there would be ale at the end of the day.
Round the next corner sat Jingle,  I stopped and said hi,He’s Japanese and in his 60,s and got his name as he carries bear bells.
I continued on and eventually came to the road, I was just checking my maps when jingle arrived.
Hey Snailtrainer you coming to get breakfast?
It did sound like a great idea but then I had to hike a 6 mile climb and with breakfast in my tummy.
I politely refused. crossed the road and began the climb
It was fairly gentle at first with nice switchbacks . Then it began to go down again . Why are you going down you stupid trail . I was busy muttering to myself when Jingle appeared behind me.
What happened about breakfast ? I asked
“No hitch” he said.
I let him pass , then followed him trying to match his pace , the trail was still decendiong  until  i  eventually arrived at a stream
A hiker named Solo was  there getting water . Jingle stopped to  get water but as i had plenty  I pushed on .
The trail now began to climb   and  steeply as i  passed near to  the next shelter I debated whether  to  visit and  sign the book but  walred on by  The trail became steeper  and rocky . Omg I thought my arrivel at the  Brewery may be delayed. I huffed and puffed as i  slowly  climbed . I heard someone behind and turned to see Solo.  I moved over to let him pass,
“No your okay i like your pace ” he said
He tracked me for some time  until I needed to stop for a break and so at the next clearing I stopped and sat down on a huge granite slab.
“Catch you later Solo” I shouted.

I was struggling today as  the long decents first thing had taken its toll . These steep decents  kill my  knees and my fuel tank was fairly depleted. I took a quick break  and  wolfed down some snacks , guzzled some water before contining on .
I hadn’t gone too far when I came across Jingle who was also  taking a break .
The trail now began to tease with it roller coaster terrain, that  this went on for the next hour before becoming just a very steep climb . There were switchbacks but I was struggling, it wasnt long until i neded  to stop again and  slumped down on a log .
God this is killing me, I glugged down more water and finished off my snacks .
I just sat there staring at the green canopy above.
Okay let’s go I hoisted my pack and plodded forward, I was still plodding when Rockwall appeared and raced past me . How does he do that, I muttered to myself.
After another hour I thought that i had  reached the summit, but it still climbed but  thankfully not so steep. I  dare not  check my map, in case it was still too far.
I came to the second shelter. which meant  1.5 miles to go, Come on Snail.
The trail continued heading up , Arrhhh  I was l knackerd but I pushed on and soon  began to meet people, clean people ! that’s a good sign.
At last the trail began to decend  and i could soon  hear traffic. the beer legs now began to work and I could now clearly see the road.
When i arrived i could see Jingle who was  sat on the other side of the road.
“There’s no shuttle” he said.
“I know I said you need to hitch.”
At that moment Rockface and Bob appeared so there was now four of us . Which makes hitching harder.
But the third  car stopped and somehow we  all managed to squeeze in, including our packs.
It wasnt long until  we were driving into the Devils Backbone Brewery.  Wow what a complex,  it was huge, camping, a sound stage, the Brewery, restaurants and much more.
We thanked our ride and headed to the bar. leaving all our packs lent against the wall.

I needed lemonade first, then I was ready for beer.
I started low before moving onto a 5% I was now hungry so ordered Ribs and a stout to go with it. Wow the ribs were amazing. The meat falling off of the bone and so tender. A Big thumbs up.

Jingle had drunk 2 pints before deciding to try  the taster which was six beers of his choice. (1/3pints) It was also his downfall .
As soon as he had  finsihed his last glass he slumped to the fllor   and  his day was over .
He had to be taken to his tent, but ended up sleeping on a picnic table over night  Legend !!
Several beers later, I thought I ought to go put up my tent before I can’t!!.
I wandered over to the camp site, and found a suitable spot , i decided to take a  30 min snooze, changed  my clothes before returning back to the bar.
I was not going to be late!

Start 826
Finish
mileage miles
Remaining 13 Miles

Day 67 Heading to Wainsboro

Friday
I quickly packed up as the Brewery do a hiker breakfast for 5bucks.
I wandered over looking for where I had to go until  I spotted other hikers so knew I was at the right place.
I dropped my pack  wiyth  the other packs  and went inside . I paid my 5$ and received coffee, a large bowl of oatmeal followed by a plate with scrambled egg, sausage, 2 biscuits (scones) and fried potatoes, both bowl and plate were soon empty
I was then given a free t-shirt, which i though was very  clever marketing  as  hikers going south and north would soon be wearing them giving the brewet  some great advertising .
I grabbed another coffe and was relaxing , when  Bob   and  then Zippy appeared
I chatted to  several other hikers  befgore  realising that i had  miscalculated my days.
Wainsboro is where my new pack is  and so if  hike the next bit I wouldn’t be able to get my pack until Monday. that wastes me a weekend in Wainsboro and i didnt want to do  that . I was in a dilema

AS  i  sat  pondering what to do a bunch  of  hikers piled into a pick up  for  the  trip  back to the trailhead
Bugger . Okay hitch it is ,I walked back to the road and put out my trusty thumb.
Must be lucky as got a ride quickly . anywhere near Wainsboro post office please.
The journey took 30 mins ..My driver Ron offered to wait and take me to the hostel after.
As i  walked into the post office  i had my fingers crossed that it was here otherwise  this  will be another wasted day
The post office was fait empty so I was served quickly and given a large box great .
Thank god  for  that  , as this was my  pack whoop .I thanked the lady and got ack to the car.
As we drove through the town, Ron pointed out restaurants and the outfitters most of which went straight out my other ear.
We then pulled into the hostel ,  The owner   xxxanimal  showwd  me arround and gave me choices  of  rooms .
I grabbed a bunk and then began to empty my pack and put my gear into my shiny new one. I then put my old pack  into the new box. taped it up and headed back to the post office. It was rather expensive  to send home, but it’s on its way !!
As I was leaving I bumped into some freinds .
We are going for the Chinese Buffet Snail you want to come? Bumble Bee said
Yes why not
The restaurant was a few blocks away . Wow  what  an amazing place there were rows and rows of food and Coy carp swimming inside.
My first plate was spring rolls and other deep fried favourites.
Plate two was lots of different chicken dishes and noodles.
well after my 5th visit I was  stuffed, but I could still manage pudding…. Rude not too.
Afterlunch my friends  wanted to visit the outfitters , so I came along for the ride.
The outfitters had a great section of kit. I grabbed gas, a plastic cup and some energy drink mix.
Once back at the hostel  I updated some videos and cleared down my phone .
I  then decided to go shopping there was Dollar  General  a few blocks away I brought some bits , before  heading to walmart to finish off and buy beer and fruit.
Once back I decanted my food., Typically  i have brought far too much oh well I will eat it.
Once my chores were done  I sat out in the sun, ate an orange and drank a large lemonade  I was now  relaxed and ready for beer.As it began to get dark i came inside . most people were ordering pizza but I was a little tired of pizza so cooked up something from my horde of food. an spent the rest of the evening watching Adam Sandlar in a film on Netflix.

Then it was zzzz

Miles zero

Day 68

Saturday 16th June

i was woken by the sound of other hikers getting up and leaving. I lay awake trying to decide what to do. should i chill or hike out.
Eventually I got up poured myself some coffee then began to pack . well at least I would be ready..
Adam the owner was busy buzzing about when I asked hi. if he had a pc or laptop that I could use. He pointed to a row of tablets that I haven’t noticed.
brilliant I said  and went and grabbed the sUSB sticks and cables from.my pack.
I backed my phone up to the tablet then copied that to the sticks It took 2 to hold all of  the data.
I was really pleased as I had been trying to do this for ages.
I was just finishing off when Zippy arrived as she had sent packages to this hostel.
We chatted while she waited for Adam to return.
When Adam returned he  asked “Who is waiting to go back to the trail?”
“Me” I said
“5 minutes”, he replied
I threw the rest of my stuff into my pack, retrived my waterbladder from the fridge and I was ready. Batty and Vauwk were also going back.
It was a short drive back to the trail head and another lovely day .it was late 10.30 and the sun was beaming down as I hoisted up  my pack . As i set off up the trail, Imeaditly every thing began to hurt as my body realised we were hiking again.!
Today I was entering the Shenandoah Mountains which are suposeed to be stunning . After a short hike I came to the registration booth, There is no charge but you need to fill in a permit and carry a copy.
Once done I posted a copy into the boxand set off.
The morning was mainly up but it was nice to see so many clean smelling people coming the other way. I pushed on for several hours , before the trail began to head  steeply down. I  actually passed several day hikers as I began my decent.
The bottom opened up into a meadow where I needed to cross the road. As I got closer I noticed several other hikers standing by a car. Whoop trail magic . I was offered a cold beer , peach and strawberries
Thank you so much . the early beer was just perfect. I stood and chatted for several minutes before moving on .

As I had just come down it was time to climb back up .It was getting warmer and the first part had no shade. Bloody hell I muttered as the trail became steep. but at last it evened out as I crested the top. Up here were several communication masts ..I would have stopped and checked mail but I wanted to push as it would be a short day. after this climb the trail meandered down a d through several meadows. I crossed several car parks and met the ranger. He didn’t ask for permit a he was busy with some farmers .

I pushed on and one until I came across xxx xxx sitting having lunch . he was sat by the shelter sign but it was .3 so a round trip of .6 too far.

I said I have 30 mins to go before I stop which should correspond to a spring and water.

I pushed on through the forest untill i exited into a bare patch then I heard the crackle of electric as standing high above me stood a pylon. I started at the dramatic view before me before moving on .

At the spring I filled up both bottles as the next water was far and as it was now 2pm I had no chance of making the next shelter. I then had my lunch I almost devoured my apple, but I wanted to save that for dinner.

okay 2.30 12 miles to the next shelter @ 2 miles hour that will be 8 and that’s if the trail is flat. I laughed to myself.

Okay I will walk to 5 and then look to camp. happy with this decision I pushed on until I ran I to Peach, Mousetrap and Guinness. They were slackpacking so we’re heading south. I don’t agree with slackpacking so I will say nothing.

Hi guys. I was hoping that I would run into you guys much later in the day.

Snail make sure you have plenty of water.

Yrs I’m full I said.

What are your plans Guiness asked.

Well I wanted to get to the secound shelter. But I started late. it’s almost 3pm now so maybe 14 ish .

Okay Snail see you up the trail

I have to admit the trail was very good occasionally I hiked in burning sun but mainly in shade .

Again I exited onto a road. on the other side was a viewing area so I wandered over. just over the wall a dozen or so butterflies were busy flitting around. I stood and watched them so several minutes when a large pickup stopped and a couple got out .

What are you watching

THESE butterflies. Marriott

And are you kiwis I asked.

Indeed they were. and over here on holiday. we chatted for a while then another car pulled up.

I chatted to this couple too he had competed the AT so on cue asked if I needed a cold drink.

I’d love one .he handed we a sprite and a bottle of flavoured water that tasted better than the Sprite.

so soon emptitied both before giving back the empties.

Then it was back to the trail

and 2 lots of trail magic today .

I had a grin on my face as I plodded on . The time was getting later but the miles seemed slow today . as I pushed on I began to notice that the blueberries are beginning to appear. won’t be long.

5pm came and went okay I will hike on until 6 pm .

It was still a lovely evening but I didn’t want to hike late.

At last a flat spot . that will do nicely .

J put up my food bag then cooked tea. st 7.40 I got into my tent . I watched many other people come by.

Then it got tel real noisy I looked out of my tent and there were 3 deer. I filled for a while

now zzzx

Miles 16.4 walked

Day 63 Off to Glasgow

Monday 11th june

I slept through most of the rain, waking only to switch off my alarm. I eventually emerged at 8.30. wow I must have needed that sleep.i walked over to.the shelter Fish was there . Hey man what are you doing here as he’s normally fast.
I then met the ranger. and he’s a talker like me, 2 hours later I was taking my tent down and was on the trail by 10am really late for me.
but I only had two miles untill the road. I pushed on and soon arrived at the longest footbridge on the AT .As i crossed a train appeared on the adjacent bridge once across I crossed the road as advised by the ranger and I got my first ride into Glasgow.
I found the shelter and set up my gear. the shelter has power.lights, loos and hot showers
I went and resupplied and also brought a sympathy card for a friend who had recently lost her husband  a great  friend  of  mine so after writing I visited the Postoffice to post and then back to the shelter to chill.
I drank a few beers emptied a tub of ice cream and as I had Cell service I had another email from Osprey.
fantastic  they will  give me discount on a new pack .
I quickly logged into their website and entered the code, great that took off $150
Bugger , it wouldn’t let me select the UK as my billing address. arrrhhh. I tried several  more times before giving up and ringing the lovely lady at Osprey. after sever more phone calls . Result my new pack is on its way whoop. I was now feeling very smug so opened another beer.

As i was relaxing by the camp fire a man appeared and announced that there was free dinner at the church and that  he would be back at 8 pm to pick up those who wanted to come . Great I thought no cooking.
8pm soon arrived and soon a pickup full of hikers was on route to the church.
when I walked in I was amazed to see so many people who I knew.
There was Guinness, Bumble bee, Bob and Zippy and many more . I had a huge bowl of pasta with meat sauce,  salad bread and then they offered us more before the ice cream appeared. it was so delicious .
As I was eating Poppins and Peanut arrived.
After lunch we had to introduce ourselves and explain  our trail names before we were shuttled back to the shelter . i joined the others sitting around the camp fire drinking and chatting

 

Start 784
Finish 786
mileage 2 miles
Remaining 1404 Miles

 

Day 64 Leaving Glasgow & 800 miles

Tuesday

I slept reasonably well got up and headed to the launderette.
I changed notes into 1/4s brought powder and put my clothes on to wash the timer said 30 mins. so I decided to wander back to town I want I yo the garage and grabbed a coffee and a bacon and egg muffin. pinged it in the microwave . paid and walked back to the launderette.
It was spacious and very clean. I woofed my muffin and drank my coffee as my clothes finished before popping them into the dryer.
Once done I walked back to the shelter and began to pack up. Once that was done .I took a shower. Omg it felt so good.
now I had wanted to visit the Italian restaurant for lunch which opened st 11 am but then someone said the shuttle can take one more. So the next minute I was putting my pack into.the back of his car.
I tipped him 5 bucks before hoisting my pack up and setting off down the trail.
it was fairly overcast and cool great for me as there were several large climbs first thing.
As I began my first climb the fog began to close in so you were unaware of your surroundings apart from the fact you were heading up. so pushed on and up surprised by my energy levels .
Then I heard a friendly voice , it was Bob.
Bob I thought that you would be in front of me..
“Well he said i needed to leave something at the last shelter.” he said
“I laughed, where is Zippy?”
“Behind ”  Bob.said and then he disappeared into the mist.
After an hour I emerged  at the top, but being foggy there was nothing to see.
So after a short spell of down it was the second up. This was steeper but I still seemed to race up it again emerging out into daylight. Sat on a rock were Bob and Silver Back.

Is it lunch time I asked putting down my pack. as we all ate and chatted the valley below suddenly appeared through the fog as the fog vanished. But as we finished and lifted our packs the view had once again been replaced by the fog.

I followed Bob down the trail watching him slowly inch away with silverback behind me.

Then Bob met the invisible man and so stopped to chat.

i past by him and sped on stopping a litre further ahead myself at the shelter sign. But it was a little off trail so I decided not to visit it.

As I stood decideding SilverBack came by.
What have you done with Bob I asked?
She laughed and pushed on.
I thought she had a good pace so I fell in behind and tracked her for several miles.
We eventually emerged onto a viewing area but this one had nothing to see. but I spied the trash so walked over to loose my rubish.
SilverBack hadn’t stopped so again I began to chase her down again and shortly caught her. I followed her for a while before she waved by.
The trail at this point was really lovely with a great tread meaning I could really push and push I did.
Then it appeared whoop whoop the “800′ Mile marker. as I was taking pictures halfway appeared it’s 800 miles I said to him whoop. After photo call I pushed on heading for the road and hoping that there maybe trail magic.
But as I crossed it I was sadly disappointed oh well would of been nice to drink a beer at the 800 mile

the next shelter marker appeared. which I ignored. and pushed on I was only going on for maybe another few miles but I was still flying so still pushed. As I was decending another hill I could see big dam and river . I wondered if I would cross it but then the trail changed directions . Ping went my watch alerting me to.the fact it was 4Pm . mm I thought I will get water next then I can. decide what to do .

I wasn’t long until a creek appeared I dropped my pack and filled 1 litre just in case. I then checked my map . 2.5 miles to the shelter. Is that all . I was surprised. I can do that . I hoisted up my pack and sett off with a new target. oddly I wasn’t tired , 2 miles to go then I came to clay . slippy slidy clay it was like this for at least a mile . I uttered obscenities under my breath as I fought to stay upright at last proper tread reappeared allowing me to push again. I was now following the river again and was about to cross over a bridge when I spied tents .
Snailtrainer someone called.
It was Bob Narley and Happy Feet. Oh my God ,I walked over to Bob Narley,s tent. “How’s your foot snail” he asked
” good thanks” I replied .
“Mine’s not , I  got bit by a Spider.”
His foot did look  swollen and sore.
That   looks like it might need some attention   i said  before  heading off  to find  a place to pitch my tent. I quickly put it up before hanging my  rope ready for my food bag.
I grabbed my cooking gear and food and sat by the fire ring. Bob Narley was cooking his supper as Happy Feet joined us then Tree Beard arrived.
On the other side of the river were Robin Hood and Soul Man.
After supper I cleaned up then straight to bed
A very good day on trail

Miles. walked 20

Start 786
Finish 806
mileage 20 miles
Remaining 1384 Miles

Day 60 Leaving Daleville.

Friday 8th June

my alarm went off at 5.30 what was I thinking, so switched it off and rolled over. at 7.30 I got up and wandered down for breakfast.  It was busy this morning. I grabbed cereal, coffee and orange juice. which promptly vanished into my tummy. I then made a waffle, I poured the mix onto the hot plate turned it over as I had seen overs do then went and sat down. I was halfway through my next coffee when Another hiker said your waffle is beeping. I went back and opened it up success, I poured the obligatory syrup over it and returned to my table. it was rather tasty. after several more trips for coffee and juice I was done. Returned to my room did one final sweep before removing my bladder from the fridge where I had left it overnight so that my water would be nice and cold. then I was out.

As I walked down the stairs a familiar face greeted me. it was Zippy, we had a big hug and she brought me up to date on the gossip and where everyone was. Bob was upstairs, Pig-pen was taking it easy etc. I gave her another hug before walking to reception to check out….
It would be so easy to take another zero here and just sit by that pool.
Okay I am out of here, I waved goodbye to my other hiker buddies. lifted my pack. Omg it was heavy, or have I just rested too much ha.
I walked down to the main road and waited for a gap in the traffic then quickly crossed, walked the few yards up the road and re-joined the trail.

This part of the trail had been recently mowed and was a delight to walk along, it continued like this for several miles before dropping down to pass under the road. as I climbed up the over side I ran into 2 British hikers going South, both were from Plymouth. I said my usual hellos before continuing my way. The trail then crossed several meadows as I was descending I came across 4 lady hikers (girl scouts) whose team was called yellow submarine I didn’t ask why. I chatted for about 10 minutes before pulling myself away.

After this the trail became its normal rollercoaster, up and down but todays trail wasn’t too steep. As I walked I began to hear music, the music belonged to Spider and his girlfriend. who soon caught and passed me but as there were now switchbacks I could hear him hi above for some time.
I plodded on at my normal pace eventually catching them both as they had stopped for a break. Fancy meeting up with you I laughed and pushed on eventually stopping at a signpost that pointed to the next shelter. I decide to I stop because my hose seemed to become kinked. As I  was  sorting out hose , spider  arrived  and  decided that he would stop at the shelter for lunch.
“You coming Snail?” he asked
“No , It was too early for me”  I replied  as  I like to walk  until 1pm
It was a gorgeous morning as I climbed up and down the mountains, I passed several tents that I guess the occupants were having a lay in.

My watch counted down the hours until it was time for lunch, typically it was a few more minutes before I found somewhere suitable to stop. it was so good that my water was still cold from being in the fridge and that in turn had kept my pizza cold.
You cannot beat leftover cold pizza, it tasted so good as I quickly woofed it down followed by a few snacks.
It wasn’t too far until the next shelter and it soon came in to view. There were two American day hikers, so we chatted for a while. they were giving me tips on where to stay. I t ha ked them as they left. I went to sign the book but sadly there was not one.

I was just chilling when spider turned up. we chatted for a while on how far we both planned to go. The. he took off just as three German hikers arrived I said hello then went back to the trail. It wasn’t long until I caught Spider who was watering up.
I stopped for water too. And was just leaving when Poppins and Peanut arrived. I spent the rest of the afternoon playing leapfrog with them until they took a break.
Eventually I caught Spider again. who had stopped by the road.
“Any magic” I asked?
“Sadly, not snail. I Checked.”

They next part was rocky, so I couldn’t get any speed up as I hobbled over the rocks this went on for several miles before emerging into a car park with amazing views of the Appalachian Mountains. This was repeated for the rest of the day. Dive into the forest then exit into another car park viewing area, after the fifth time the trail crossed. over the road. it was now 6 pm and 3 miles to go to the next shelter. I really didn’t want to walk that late so began to look for somewhere to put my tent and there was nowhere. okay May be at the top of this hill. Dam Spider had claimed the spot. Nice spot I shouted.
You’re still walking then snail?
Yes, but I want to stop I replied but you have stolen my spot I said laughing
Then I heard the rumble of thunder. great I thought.
I pushed on and one…… Nothing is I. I was now tired. still nothing.
I  decided that I would bushwhack towards the road ,watching where I was putting my feet
As soon as I arrived at the road , there in front of me was  the perfect spot
I walked Across, kicked few sticks and stones out of the way and then put up my tent , it’s a bit close to the road but it’s up.
I found a good branch to hang my food. cooked tea. and I was done

 

Start 704
Finish 704
mileage 19 miles
Remaining 1486 Miles

Day 59 zero in Daleville

Oh its so nice to wake up in a real bed. not having to let down my mattress or roll.up my sleeping bag.

So instead I walked down for breakfast, ate toast and jam, drank coffee and orange juice, ate a waffle and cerial and left well fed.
I emptied my back pack out and began to sort through my “Stuff” whilst relaxing. I washed my tyvek then hung it our to dry . phoned osprey about a new pack. tried to sort out stuff at home.paid a few bills and felt that I had accomplished lots.
okay a morning beer then it was to.the pool.
I took a dip then just sat chilling which is exactly want i wanted to do in Pearisburg but wasnt able to.
I then got a text from Blue Grass they were on their way here..
I had had enough sun so went back to my room to chase Osprey and a few other chores

I later met up.with Blue Grass. Danimal and his daughter for dinner. we had delious pizza ..I had a small pizza but still struggled to eat it all .

Then back to my room for an early night maybe !

Start 704
Finish 704
mileage 19 miles
Remaining 1486 Miles

day 56

Monday 4 June

Another good sleep. I emerged from.my tent st 6.30 and began to slowly pack up. I retrieved my food bag .visited the loo and I was ready to go

I hoisted up my pack and walked out of the camp. the trail was fairly flat for the first several miles then I began to cross bridge after bridge with nice campsites. Hindsight is wonderfull. I could of pushed on yesterday and got to any of these making today’s milage shorter but I was happy with my 22 as I thought yesterday was tough.

I pushed on passing several hikers. one hiker called peewee reminded me that this was the last water for a while so I decided to grab another litre.
The trail now began to climb and climb, it took me  2 hrs before I  reached the top. At the top was a  bench to sit down , which i needed ,thank god.
The next part was really nice and gentle and I began to crunch the miles, however I knew  that i had a big  climb later. I crossed another large bridge and decided to fill up with water before the climb.
I then began my climb , as i  climbed  the  sun began to roast  me , it was hot so bloody hot  hopefully i would  enter the forest soon  and shade. Up and  up i  climbed . my watch counting down the hours
I heard voices  and as I came around a corner I saw Half-Way, Lost & Found and another hiker resting. I decided to stop too,  take  lunch and enjoy the view.
After lunch I set off towards the Dragons tooth but  the trail  was begining to annoy  me  as once  agin it was  lods of “PUDS”   as they were indeed pointless  although occasionally I got a great view .
I pushed on up and down but the ups were rock that I had to scale . to me this was not hiking ….more mountaineering
My  feet  hurt as i navigated over this  rock  until at last i began to decend .The decent was not easy  as  it was all hands and a lot shuffling on my arse as it was scary in places but also exhilarating and exciting.
about half way down I met a lady called Elaine and her dog who she had to lift down in places. As  i reached the car park I said good bye and carried on . and once again i was soon  clambering over rock..omg Arrrh. at last the rock turned into a nice trail and I was able to speed up down to the road.

Once there I turned right and walked up.the road. untill I found the hostel .I decided to bunk so grabbed one then bumbed a beer and sat in the sun chilling
I then grabbed the shuttle to town to grab beer an extra days food, a huge pizza and a tub of ice cream
Once back I tucked into my pizza and beer before devouring my ice cream

almost bed time

Start 687
Finish 704
mileage 20 miles
Remaining 1486 Miles