Day 66. Beer Legs

Thursday

It was get to the Brewey day a mere 18 miles easy right .I finished my cup of tea and stowed my pot.
Okay snail easy day .I will be there at 3pm I told myself as I hoisted up my pack. I waved to the other hikers as I past by the shelter and back towards the trail. I hadn’t gone far when Bob appeared wow what time did you start Bob.
I pushed on it was a nice cool morning but the trail was not to my liking. it was horid rock.
But the trail had been recently 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 wacker.
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 . so I stopped and said hi .He’s Japanise 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 poitely 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 and began to pace him and followed him still heading down untill we came to a large stream .

A hiker named Solo was already there . Jingle stopped but I pushed on . The climb now began in ernest. I passed by the next shelter.debated wether to go sign the book but pushed on . The trail was fairly steep and rocky Omg I thought getting to the Brewery may be delayed. I huffed and puffed my way up.
Then I heard someone behind .it was Solo I moved over but he said no. your okay and so he tracked me for some distance . but this climb was tough ad so 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.
Omg I was struggling today the long long down first thing had taken it’s toll as it kills your knees. And my fuel tank was fairly depleted.
I woofed down some snacks guzzeled some water before returning to the trail.
I hadn’t gone too far when I came across Jingle doing the same .
The trail now began to tease with it roller coaster route but the downs were dips and the ups large climbs . this went on for the next hour . Then it turned into just a huge climb. It had switchbacks but I was struggling. It was no good I had to stop again . I 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 nodding when Rockwall appeared and raced past me. . How does he do that. I muttered to myself..

After another hour I had reached the summit but it still climbed but not as steep thank god. I was scared to check my watch or map in case it was still too far. At last I came to the second shelter. Okay okay 1.5 miles to go. Come on Snail.
But it’s still up omg. Arrhhh I pushed on .I was l knackerd.
I began to meet people, clean people that’s a good sign.
At last the trail began to head down and I could here traffic. the beer legs now began to work and I could now clearly see the road. and shortly I was stood st the road.
Jingle 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 3 car stopped and somehow we squeezed in including our packs.
The next minute we were driving into the Backbone Brewery. Omg what a complex it was huge . camping.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. Then raised the bar to a 5% I was now hungry so ordered Ribs and a stout to go with it. Wow the ribs were amazing. .meat falling off of the bone and so tender. big thumbs up.

Jingle had drank 2 pints .Then decided to go for the taster which was six beers of his choice. It was also his downfall as he had to be taken to his tent. But ended up sleeping on a picnic table.
several beers later. I thought I ought to go put up my tent before I can’t!!.
I also took a 30 min snooze changed clothes. before returnig back to the bar. But I was not going to be late

Start 826
Finish
mileage miles
Remaining 13 Miles

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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 say a bit about 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

Day 53 leaving Pearisburg

Again, I was woken by some very loud hikers, but I did have go get up.
I enjoyed my zero. it was what I needed.
I got up visited the bathroom. and grabbed coffee on my return. I am not a big coffee fan, but this coffee tasted good.  I sat on the porch with other hikers watching other hikers pass by

I took   another shower then slowly packed up my gear, Once I was almost ready I moved my pack to the veranda,
Next it was back to the post off to post these 2 resupply boxes up the trail   1 to and the other   to XX

On the way back, I came across Trypad, morning how is you toady and how’s Jess
as we were all a bit squiffy yesterday.
Once back at the hostel I paid my bill then said my goodbyes. I hoisted up my pack and strolls out and down the path crossed over and emerged at the best of the grocery store,
I thought I would   get some lunch as it was getting quite late   now.

I  Ordered  up a large sub, and  brought a lemonade and some  fruit  too.
Okay  time to head back to the trail .
I  headed  down the main road   and  It was hot  after about 20 minutes  I  decide  rather than carry  my food and  the trash afterwards  I thought I would stop now  as  it was 12.30.
I  found a grassy verge , dropped my pack and  began to devour  my  lunch.  I then found a bin to leave my trash before walking on. I followed the main road for a while before    re-joining the trail. As I approached the trail I noticed two other hikers    a girl that I came to know as Mary Poppins, who was eventually shorted to Poppins and Her hiking partner peanut, who were both Aussies.
I wished them well and pushed on      there was a small climb before I emerged back out on the freeway.  I then crossed over a large bridge that scanned several railway tracks and the huge river.
Once across the trail then   drop down beneath the bridge before climbing back up and into the forest

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
it was still hot as my watch pinged 5. okay I will do another hour. I pushed on and began to climb again through forest until I emerged again onto the ridge. Here was a huge mast so I put on my phone and yes, a signal. So, I answered a few texts and sent a few more
A little further was the next camp with a spring. I entered I was in two minds to stay or go. I kept going. I will do another hour I said to myself.
Ping. god that was quick. and as I turned a corner. There I front was the perfect site for me
I dropped my pack. spread out my foot print then put up my tent. threw everything inside.
I then went to find a good tree to hang my food bag from. once done I returned to my tent and began to cook dinner.
I made tea. then cooked dinner. Once full I went and hung my food bag. I had just returned to my tent when it began to pour. that was lucky
it was still hot as my watch pinged 5. okay I will do another hour. I pushed on and began to climb again through forest until I emerged again onto the ridge. Here was a huge mast so I put on my phone and yes, a signal. So, I answered a few texts and sent a few more

A little further was the next camp with a spring. As I entered I was in two minds whether to stay or go. I kept going. I will do another hour I said to myself.

Ping. god that was quick. and as I turned a corner. There I front was the perfect site for me.
I dropped my pack. spread out my foot print then put up my tent. threw everything inside.
I then went to find a good tree to hang my food bag from. once done I returned to my tent and began to cook dinner.
I made a brew  then cooked dinner. Once full I went and hung my food bag. I had just returned to my tent when it began to pour. that was lucky

mile 645.4. miles walked 10.1

Start 635
Finish 645
mileage10 miles
Remaining 1545 Miles

 

Day 52 Zero in Pearisburg

31 st May

I was woken by loud voices .typical as I didn’t have to get up. I finally emerged at 8.30 went and took a shower before getting coffee.
My foot still seems swollen so I took more pills and then soaked my feet in a foot spa with Epsom salts. I drank more coffee as my foot soaked .
Then I began to do my chores.
I am still missing a box I sent when I arrived in the US and the tracking number got wrecked in the rain. so I don’t think I will see it again but I havnt yet given up hope, so armed with some info I headed to the P.o the lady in charge was very helpful so fingers crossed.
Whilst I was there I grabbed two postal boxes as I wasn’t sure of what size I needed.
on the way back i called  into  the grocery store.I was doing my best not to spend  too much  , but it did include a big juicy steak for tea.
Once back I decanted my food from their boxes to ziplocks then into my boxs that i had picked up from the postoffice. I was halfway through  this process ,when the heavens opened up.

I grabbed my stuff and ran tothe veranda where I finished my packing.
In the afternoon I soaked my foot again whilst I sat drinking beer, I was miles away when I received a text from Jess she was in town, so I gave her directions to the hostel where I was staying.
At last  Jess came into view, It was so great to see Jess (  now named Blue grass)  again so we had plenty of hugs. Accompaninfg  Jess was tripod, who I haven’t seen for while either .
We drank a few beers before they needed to go back to their hotel for their own chores .
I finished up what i was doing before  heading to their motel to join them.
I took my steak and prepped food and we sat by the pool . There were comunial BBQs  by the pool  so  i lit  one   and cooked my steak as we drank beer.
After we went to the mexican bar for a few more then bed

Start 635
Finish 635
mileage ZERO miles
Remaining 1555 Miles

Day 51 heading to Pearisburg

wed 30th May.

It took me ages to go off to sleep . over tired not sure.
But I was excited to get into town grab a room and do nothing .
I was up by 6.30  made a brew  and was quickly packed and on the trail by 7.30.
It was another damp foggy morning as I set off along the trail. I passed throuh  numerous rhodadendrum tunnels  and because of  the dark misty morning  it was entering a cave,  it was so dark in places I couldn’t see where I was going anddue to all the rain that had been falling parts of the trail were  lakes . As I had new socks on I tried to avoid these as best as I could.

I pushed on and on and began to climb  soon apearing  on the ridge, Up here it was cold  and  so  I needed to hike faster to warm up.
I think about stopping to put my jacket on, but pushed on. I then came across a familiar face, it was bob who was packing up his tent.
We said our normal hellos then I was on my way.but he would soon  catch me .
The trail dipped and climbed as I made my way through the mist. I then heard voices behind me it was Bob and happy Feet who had caught me.
We gave each other abuse as I watched them fade into the mist.
It must be the season as I passed under certain trees I  got  covered in tiny caterpillars or Inch worms .as my American freinds say . They were  a pain  to brush off.
The trail  now began to now decend, it would be at least 3 hrs to get to the road but  the trail likes to surprise  surprises you  so  i then had huge rock steps which were very steep and slippery to navigate  down .. Such fun! omg. Then  for  more fun an assortment of rock to clamber over and lastly slick slippy  clay  to decend steepy  down . I lost my grip twice and crashed to the ground swearing. once again I wiped myself down and continued on.
At last i arrived on the road my shoes caked in mud. I scuffed them along the road to clean them the best I could.
There was about a mile roadwalk to get to Town, Once  in the town I went straight  to the garage and brought some coke before heading off towards the  motels.
Dam no vacancies . I tried the next one . The same full up.
Both were full of construction workers who were working on a new pipeline .
Several hikers  suggested the hostel
So  i made my way across the road and down towards the supermarket , The  hostel was somewhere behind it and i should  follow  the signs !!

Once behind the supper market  i was lost  in other words  where was the hostel?
As i stood   there several hikers appeared  out  of  long  grass  seceral  yards away.
I walked  toward where they had appaered and  found  the path  to  the hostel.
As i walked in  there  were numerous  huts and  tents  and  picnic  benches  with  hikrers  eating  drinking and chilling .
I  found  reception and   booked in , sadly  no   rooms  but  tenting will do me
I found a spot and put up my tent then went  for a shower, oh that felt so good.
once clean  I did my laundry before heading to the post office. as i  entered  i met Handstand  who was picking up her re-supply Box, I posted my  worn out socks  then headed  back to the hostel . On the way back i popped into the grocery store and brought beer, ice cream and some food for dinner.
Once back at the hostel  i  found out there was  a shuttle to walmart, so i decide to go  for  a ride . I didn’t want much but managed to spend $50 I also brought a small bottle of bourbon, for thise cold nights !
Once back I grabbed a beer and began to wade through a big bag of cherries that i had  just  purchased ,   I passed then around  to my fellow hikers. who were now gathered around the fire pit .
We sat drinking and chatting as Pappa Smurf made a fire .

It as also shapes birthday and she spent the whole day cooking for every one
At 10 pm the feast was unveiled and  wow what an amazing spread she had made. Followed by an amazing cake.  after all that food it was bed.

 

Start 626.5
Finish 635
mileage 8.5 miles
Remaining 1555 Miles

Day 50

Tuesday 29th May.

I slept so well maybe it was the 6 pack of beer that helped. I finally emerged at 8.30 really late for me.

I walked over to the toilets then got my clothes out of the dryer. and my battery which was now fully charged.
The other hiker just returned from the garage after having breakfast. I decided to put my bag in the tumble for a few minutes while I had the opportunity, then I began to pack up but wasn’t really efficient this morning.
I made tea and instant oats
Then went to retrieve. my  sleeping bag and phone. oh my bag was so lovely and all fluffy so that I had trouble getting it back into its stuff sack.
okay let’s go .
I walked back towards the garage. Robin hood was sat outside
“How are you” I asked?
As I sat down with him, a lady appeared  and handed him a huge burger and chips and another burger to go.

Wow it looked so good so I ordered one too. It too shortly arrived and disappeared into my mouth. it was yummy.
Okay I better be going,  it was almost a mile back to the AT along a busy road.
Once back I climbed the steps trying to avoid getting my feet wet.
the trail begins to wind it’s way up and then I reach a crossroads with  signs  pointing to  a waterfall.
I  try and do these extra trails as  you never know what to expect. it was  point -3 of a mile or point-6 to get back to the trail
I headed down the trail listening to the roar of the water get louder and louder.Then they appeared and wow they were very pretty and well worth the walk.I  took a few  photos  thinking this  must  be a great place  on a hot summers day .
i spent a few minutes   before heading  back upthe path and rejoining the trail .

As I hiked  on the trail became marshsy and boggy such fun. I tried to avoid it for a while then gave up and decided to plough straight through
Splash ,splosh splash, some bits were like walking through tar and really sapped my energy . Arrrh. if it wasnt this crap then it was rock and if not rock it was roots Arrrh.
I was struggling today even though  i had  slept well and  had a lie in, but I  was sadly lacking   energy .
I listened to my watch ping the hours, but  i dare not look at my map. I entered and left  forests,I pushed on through tunnels of rodadendroms  and then back into sunlight at last it was 1pm that will do me for lunch.
I found a spot and relaxed took off my soaking wet shoes and socks. I squeezed out my socks they need rinsing as they are very gritty but a town is coming and I need a break.
I ended up taking a very long lunch break. .but then  struggled to start hiking again .
I pushed on down the trail,  I was trying to get to the second shelter, my goal for today but I was struggling . the trail was so rocky and being damp slippery,  I  hit  the deck , the second time grazing my leg.
I let out a few obscenities, wiped myself down and carried on mumbling under my breath. I must of zoned out as I jumped as another hiker and his dog appeared in front of me.
“So  sorry about” i said   as I had shouted. FUCK, when he startled me.
He laughed as we pass.
It was now 5.30 and I was beginning to tire. I just wanted to get to the shelter and put my tent up. At last it came into view and wow what a great shelter, almost brand new . with a large deck and it was fairly empty so I am  sleeping in tonight.
Happy feet then appeared from getting water.
Wechatted as I put down my bedding then cooked together.
I like her as we can talk silly banter together and  rip  the  piss out of  each  other .
After  my brew and supper I went to hang my food  but as  Happy feet had already  thrown her line   she  allowed me  to add my bag to  hers .
As we walked back   we cahtted to another hiker, who had maged to get his line stuck  in the tree. I went  to se if i could help  and  was  able to free it for him.

Once  back at the shelter it  was bed

Start
Finish 627
mileage 19 miles
Remaining 1563 Miles