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

 

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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 62

Sunday 10 June.

I slept well and was stripped down and ready to go by 7

I was a nice sunny morning . hmmmm going to be hot I thought.

my first target was the be t shelter maybe 3 miles away . shapes had come past my tent last night to get there.

I was I.pressed as I was struggling this morning itvwas all up.hill and steep at that .

I had to keep stopping . co.e on snail .I pushed but I see.ed to be dead. I slept well I ate well come on. I eventually came to the shelter but as it was off trail I decided not to visit it.

as I passed it the trail flu.bed even steeper I urged my self on .up and up .the trail was well kept and cut back but itvwas just steep and rocky so I struggled to get any speed up.

eventually I decided to stop for a morning break . a sign that I am struggling . I ate snack Bx glugged water. I was still relax ing when shapes passed by.

I finished my break then set off down the trail but I still didn’t have any ummph. Even my normal plod was slow.

Eventually I came to the next shelter there was one tent left but I I passed it to get water I recognised the owner. Ma. good effort.

this guy walks miles and late into the night .

I told him .that I was struggling

so.i pointed out that it was a very steep elevation.

I filtered water then took off it was 12 miles to town but with more climbs I dontvthink Sunday 10 June.
I slept well and was stripped down and ready to go by 7
I was a nice sunny morning. hmmmm going to be hot I thought.
my first target was the shelter maybe 3 miles away. shapes had come past my tent last night to get there.
I pushed on. but was struggling this morning with the steep climbs so kept stopping. come on snail .I kept pushing but had no energy , What’s wrong with me !I slept well I ate well come on Snail I urged myself on eventually coming to the side trail to the shelter but as it was off trail I decided not to visit it.
as I hiked on the trail climbed even more steeply . Again, I had to urge myself on and up even though the trail was steep it was well kept and cut back. but the rocky surface was struggle for my feet and so I decided to take an early break, a sign that I am struggling. I ate a few snacks and glugged down some water. I was still relaxing when shapes passed by.
I finished my break then set off down the trail, but I still didn’t have any oomph, even my normal plod was slow.
Eventually I came to the next shelter, out by the front stood one lonely tent. As I walked past it to get water I recognised the owner
Bloody good effort I said
This guy walks miles and late into the night .I told him that I was struggling
He pointed out that it was a very steep elevation., which made me feel slightly better.
I topped up my water then took off it was 12 miles to town but with more climbs I don’t think I will get there today .
I continued climbing but this part was open with no shade and I was roasting as the sun beat down oh and did I say it was steep oh and so hot. It seemed to take me forever to climb it. Once up of course it was straight down which annoyed me as my foot now began to hurt as I stumbled over the rocky trail
My map said I should be going down but I just kept climbing , when I came to a stream I filled up as I had decided to camp at the next suitable spot .
I pushed on then my energy returned , how mad is that I thought as I steamed into camp
I had just got my tent up and had begun to relax when the rain came big buckets of it the sky went black as the Sun retreated oh well I guess that I will be cooking in my tent again

Start 764
Finish 784
mileage 20 miles
Remaining 1406 Miles

Day 61

Saturday 9th june

ConsideringI slept by the road I slept really well at 6.30 I got up and began to pack up. when I was almost done I put on my stove for a brew and made  breakfast.
I soon woofed and drank both stowed my stove and I was ready . I hoisted up my pack and retraced my steps back to the trail. Again it was a beautiful morning. I pushed on and was surprised that I didn’t really see anywhere to camp untill almost on the turn for the shelter. The shelter was .2 off trail so I didn’t visit it but pushed on past. I was busy climbing when a other hiker came past I have met him so many times but his name escapes me. The morning started as yesterday’s finished into a forest then out into a scenic viewing layby before heading back into  the forest  then back out into a  layby . The next one was amazing, as all the mountains poked out from beneath the clouds. wow.
Then I did one more before disappearing deep into the forest  the trail spiralled down bit I could still hear cars so the road must run parallel.
I could now hear water and as I came around another corner I saw  a fellow  hiker getting water  as this was  the last water for 10 miles
I filled up then drank a litre, i didnt want to carry too much as the next part was a lot more climbing
I crossed the road and  my first climb began  . it wasn’t too bad and the terrain fairly tame  for my feet.
once  i  had  reached the summit  the trail took on its normal rollercoaster  of  ups and downs . As i hiked the  temperture continued to rise . it wasnt so much hot but sticky . I was miles away when the next shelter came into view.

I walked down to it and the nameless hiker was there. I was just having lunch when the three Germans turned up.

The lady asked where I had stayed. about a mile back I replied. As we were talking Fish arrives. Hi fish .

we talk about the hotel and the zeros . Then he shows me his tummy it’s bright red from the Sun. fuck Fish . that looks sore.

It is snail he replied. didn’t shapes put cream on it (,his girl)

We decide to do a few toasts then I am on my way. I feel that I am pushing , but it’s not long before the German train catches me. and I watch them go.

The hours and miles whizz by and I am soon coming out of the forest into a road by a bridge. this is the famous water hole there are several people swimming. it looks so inviting but I decided to walk past and start the next climb another huge thing

This one as the others goes on and on and it hot very very hot and the sweat stings my eyes . Then there are these little black flies that fly just in front of your face and drive you mad. Then the big buzzy ones that fly by your ears. arhh.

I pushed on trying not to .look up . eventually I reached a Plato and decided that I needed a break . I glugged down the 1/4 litre of juice that I had in the side pocket. there was water at the next shelter so not far to go

I had enough. but when I came to.the nectcstream I watered up anyway

It wasn’t long until.i reached the next shelter no name hiker was there also xxx who was sleeping a d an elder hiker who was section hiking.

the shelter was really nice very large 2 story building. I drank more water ate the remaining snacks then Fish arrived.

we both decided to make coffee so I fired up my stove. the coffec was delicious. as i hadnt made one in a while

I stayed at this shelter for far too long as I wanted a few more miles

fish was heafing to the next shelter. I could maybe make that but 2.5 miles more was my target. I hoisted my pack and set off the skies suddenly turning black ,boom boom went the thunder. I had water u just needed a flat spot any spot but I was climbing not a chance I climbed for hours and began to regret moving on. Boom went the thunder.i stopped and checked Guthooks it says I am near and yes I’m.here. I looked about shall I tent here or there. soon my tent is up. There was a sign pointing to water and in Guthooks it said it was a spring so I took two bottles with me..Omg it was far a d not very good water either it I had enough. I was just starting back when the heavens opened great I thought it st least my tent is up . once back I decided to throw my rope so it was ready to hang my food . I had just got it over the limb when I saw somethi out of the corner of my eye. I turned around and a few feet away was a large rattle snake. they can syrike up.to four foot so.i think I was lucky and quickly moved away.

I made tea in my tent. I tried a new meal that was rather tasty. Then I hung my food in another tree and turned in

miles walked 18

Start 764
Finish 764
mileage 18 miles
Remaining 14 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 57

Tuesday 5th June

I didn’t sleep at all well I spent most of the night scratching my bloody bites .. but eventually dropped off.
I set my alarm for 5.30 but the friendly rooster beat my watch too it.
I dozed for a while then slowly climbed down from my bunk. carefuly grabbed my stuff from the bunk and quietly carried them out side. then I went back for my bag and other bits.
I packed up drank a few pints of water said bye to my friends who were up. hoisted up my pack and. set off down the road
The short hike back to the trail head was very busy with no verge. so when a car came I pushed myself into the hedge. luckily it wasn’t far.

Once again I am back on the trail.i checked my shoes shook my pack then set off. It was a all climb that then decended down to a creek . I had to go through several stiles. so.e were fairly tight with my pack on. I flowed the river for a while. I past by what looked like an old water mill. interesting I thought.
I then climbed through another stile and entered a large meadow. I filled my brown path weaving in and out. untill I spied a deer oh and it has a little fawn with her.I tried to sneak closer. but she had seen me and so both bounced off.

I completed that meadow crossed the road and did another one. although I climbed straight up through the middle and into another forest

Once in this forest I began to climb and climb but the incline was fairly gentle. Once at the top I was in some lovely Oak woods and so the trail had a nice soft carpet of oak leaves to walk on . I pushed on fairly amazed at the miles that I was doing today. I seemed to be flying. But I knew that I had a huge climb to get to McAfee Knob a great cliff landmark.
I began to drop down and could hear the road. meaning that i was getting closer, then I could see the car park.
As a I dropped down into it , someone had left a cach of beer, and they were cold
I grabbed  one and chugged, it stamped on the can and shoved it into my pack. I debated about grabbing a second. but I didn’t.
I crossed the road and began the climb it was 4 miles to the top, cool I thought I am ahead of schedule. I pushed on as , the trail adopted its normal roller- coaster route
A bit up a bit down, eventually I came to the first shelter. I waked in signed the book , took some photos then carried on on the trail. It wasnt long until the second shelter appeared , I decided not to visit this one and pushed on  and up. AS I climbed  I began to meet many day hikers coming down . it was about another hour till j finally reached the top.
OMG it was wow amazing, such wonderful views

I asked several people to take my picture. I sat down on the rock and just stared. I sat there for ages before eventually pulling myself away.
I really loved this place.
I now began the decent. spiralling down and down and then I came to another shelter this one had bear boxes. I called in , it was empty so I decided to have my lunch here. I used the loo then got water before relaxing.
As I sat Fish arrived .it’s his birthday tomorrow and so wants to get town ASAP.
Then anak arrived. but it was time for me to leave. I.pushed on continuing to head down .
down and down until I saw a sign for tinker cliffs 2 miles.
I pushed . but now the trail began to climb up and down through rock and occasional I couldn’t see the trail to follow as there were no.blazes.
I was trying to decide when a family that I met at the knob came by.
They seemed to know the way so I followed them untill they waved me by.
I pushed on untill the trail began to climb very steeply, I looked back and could see Fish gaining on me, As he got closer I stood back to let him pass.
“Cheers Snail” he said.

After Fish had passed me I began to chug,  was running out of  out of juice,but the hills kept coming . At last I was at the top , I had arrived at the tinkers cliffs.
The views were amazing, they were fantastic  i  think better than Mcaffee Knob  I followed the trail that hugged the cliffs that was fairly scary in places .Not  suitable if i had  small children with me.
I  walked past sever hikers who had set up their hammocks fairly close to the edge. !!!!! rather them than me, although i am sure it wiould be a great  viewe  of  sunset or sunrise .

The trail now detours away from the cliffs and back into forest and at last I am descending. I am still   spiralling down until I across see a sign for the shelter. .6 miles
Than god I say as my right foot is hurting and I am tired. It’s been a good day, but my bed is calling.
I walk towards the shelter and see Fish. Who is cooking his supper on the fire we chat a while then then he’s away. It’s his birthday tomorrow and I he wants to get to Town.
Below the shelter is a large open space    with plenty of space for many tents.
I find tent spot and quickly get my tent up, before walking back towards the shelter to cook tea. As I am cooking a steady stream of people arrive   and disappear to set up their tents and hammocks.
when I get back to my tent I am amazed on how many more tents there are.
Time for bed

Lost & Found and Peanut

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 55 the sun’s out

Sunday 3rd June

I was up early as I wanted miles today and so was on the trail at 6.30. it was still misty and dark as I set off down the trail but as my watch chimed 7 it began to lighten up
I think it’s going to be a lovely day I said to myself.

The trail was good and so I could have gone on last night, but it would have taken 2 more hours and I didn’t want to get to camp that late. The trail spiralled gently down and soon I arrived at the shelter.
Sat at the table were Sunshine, Mousetrap and Peaches.
How’s your foot snail peaches asked?
It’s doing okay thanks
I visited the loo then got water.
It was then that I noticed speedy was still here. I thought you would be long gone I said.
She laughed.
I drank water then topped up my bladder as it was going to be a long hot day.
I hoisted my pack and set off it was flat for about 3 miles then it just shot up. I was climbing for about 2 ish hours and omg it was steep bloody steep.
At last I was at the top puffing and panting. it took me a few minutes then I was away. but it was rock, so I was being careful. then peaches and snapdragon came past I pushed on. pointless chasing them as they are all fast. seems everyone is faster than me. but I hike at my own speed and I get there. I was miles away when Mousetrap came by and vanished into the distance.
I pushed on the hours pinged by until I arrived at the 1st shelter. I decided to have lunch here and change my shirt for my vest.
I spent about 40 mins here then filled up water and attacked the trail again.
I spent a long time in the forest and with the  heat of the sun , smelt divine, i emerged  into some meadows and  the heat hit me it so so bloody hot my watch said 90 phew.
I crossed meadow after meadow then more forest then back into meadow.  As  I hiked on i  noticed that  the grass  had been recently cut  several minutes later I met the man  with strimmer or weed-wacker as they say out here.
Thank you so much I said as I past by.
I was then in another meadow but had to walk along  planks to cross it, as I  made my way  across adeer shot up making me jump!
At the end of this meadow I crossed over  a road and then straight back into another meadow. The sun was now scorching,I hoped that I would be I shade soon.
Phew at last another forest. I followed the trail that then dropped down to  follow  another river, it looked really inviting. I  plodded on untill the  trail ended at a road bridge.  I crossed over and found the trail, a little way along I met mousetrap sat in a chair drinking a soda.
A voice said ” would like a soda.”
“Yes please” I said and grabbed one from the ice box. I quickly drained it.

“Take another, as I need to go home now.” the man said
So, I grabbed another and soon drained that too.
“Do you two need water”  he asked.
“No thank you , I am fine” we said in unison.
I lifted my pack and strolled out after mousetrap.
She was fast but as I passed a small stream I noticed that there were beers in it,
I  tried to  catch Moustraps attentuion  but  she was striding away , and  as i dint want to take my pack off , I  could only carry one.
The next part was another 2 miles up. Fun.
it started gradually, as I wove in and out of cows, avoiding the cow pats then . through a few more meadows before  the trail slimbed  steeply and so  I was soon puffing.
omg it was steep,  an hour later I was at the top. Phew . Wow what amazing views.
I was still admiring them. When mousetrap sped by
I took off after her as this part of the trail was perfect for me.
I pushed for several hours then the trail took me past many cairns( big miles of rock.)
Some had colapsed but  others stood  proud  like beacons.
I pushed and pushed until I came to a sign for the next shelter but as it was off trail I decided not to  visit it, but pushed on.

The trail now becomes rockier and it begins to hurt my foot and I have 6 more miles to go. I carried on for another hour then took a break as my right foot was becoming hot.
I found a rock to sit on and took off my shoes and socks  to air and cool my feet.I atet a couple of snacks. As i am resting  a family come up the trail, although it’s not a family it’s a dozen kids who are doing trail maintenance with 2 leaders.  We chat for a while then ,Sunshine appears and we chat some more .
Sunshine  is unsure if she will make the next shelter.
I laugh “What with your legs, of course you will.
She then bounds  off down the trail.
I sit for another 10mins before putting on my shoes and re-joining the trail.
It’s really smooth for about a mile then it goes back to rock  and  its   hand over hand  climbs , as  i  make  over  my  third  i see  Mousetrap and Sunshine sitting and resting  Wow  a great  spot  guys  i say , as there is an amazing  great, so i take  a few more photos. before moving on.

Start 665
Finish 687
mileage 22 miles
Remaining 1503 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