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

 

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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 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 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 46 leaving Marion.

Friday 35th

I woke and stepped over all the bodies that we had acquired last night. It’s a hiker tradition to grant the floor to your hiker friends. ha ha .
I had a quick shower a d went down to breakfast. it was continental but I could have scrambled or waffles. I went with the eggs. when I worked I drank two vats of coffee and a few glasses of oranges juice.

several rounds of toast and a yoghurt. The eggs came and that too was scoffed.

I went back to the room the bodies were awake and packed

I put the rest of my gear into my pack. rinsed out my bladder and refilled it with clean water,added some lemonade mix then put that into my bladder. okay Bob see you downstairs .

I hoisted up my pack and left the room and took the lift. At reception I asked the lady if I could use the computer .
Of course she said that is what it is there for.
I touched the keyboard and it woke up. I signed into Google and printed of the returns from for my socks.
Bob then appeared. hold on Bob there’s a bank across the road I will get you some money.
We crossed the street and I went into the bank to use the Atm. It was rather a clever machine. I paid Bob then we walked and looked at the memorial day tribute.

after we walked down the road together until Bob came across a coffee shop.
See you up the trail Snail he said.
Likewise Bob I replied.
I needed to resupply and so was heading to Wal-Mart 2 miles on the other side of town.
my pack felt good but will shortly be heavier.
It was a long walk  and the path   was roasting .I crossed over the railway lines and just kept going . I crossed the road .something that always makes me nervous out here. as I crossed a police car came by .so I waited, but he then stopped and waved me across.
I huffed and puffed up the road then I spied a grocery store. That will do snail so  I walked up grabbed a basket and began to explore the aiels.
I love how it’s laid out . I  grabbed several Kor side in my basket and then a bag of couscous for a change. salami. cheese.hot chocolate more lemonade mix . sweets . a bottle of soda. some bagels
I think that will do it. I  then I sat outside decanting my food into ziplock.
several people stopped go say hi and to ask if i was through hiking and to wish me luck.
I finally I guzzeld my soda and I was ready.
I crossed back over the 4 lane road and stuck put my trusty thumb.
Instantly a car with a large trailer stopped.
You going back to the trail. said a voice in a thick Southern accent.
Yes please

You can put your pack in the back.
I did then tried to get in the passed her lot was full with “stuff”. but I managed to get in.
He was a gardener and was off to cut grass.
As we drove back we passed by the trout hatchery that the two men I met. putting the trout back in the river.were from.
Then past the razor wire of the local prison.
Then we were here. so thanked him then retrieved my pack and waved him off.
I thought that I would have a quick look at the visitor centre so walked up to the building.
To my surprise sat on a bench outside were Dupont and Phoenix
Bloody hell I said great to see you both. we chatted for a while then I went to look inside. Got my passport stamped and looked at the exhibits.
Dupont and Phoenix had left.
I finished my soda .dropped the bottle in the trash . then I was ready i crossed the road and I was away.
I really didn’t like this part of the trail it was Rocky and hurt my foot .really hurt my foot the pain was beginning to get me down as I limped through it .It wasn’t long till I was on my first climb .what fun. I was miles away when a couple of hikers frightened me as I didn’t hear them.behind me.
The last had a lovely bum, if only I had the speed to keep up ha ha.
Eventually I reached the summit only to see Dupont and Phoenix resting.
Have you only got this far I said or are you trying to make me look good.
They both laughed as I hobbled by. The trail was reasonably flat for a while but still Rocky and crap to hike over .
Then I saw a backpack just on its own… owner possibly pooping in the woods. I don’t know why that makes me smile but it does.
A little further along was the lady with the nice bum. obviously waiting for her chap.
I said my hello and was on my way . but again the trail was steep down and rocky a d it was just killing my foot. and I wasn’t getting any speed.
I shortly came to my next climb and this one went on and one .it wasn’t long until the couple caught me again I couldn’t help but state at her arse in her tight shorts dream.on Snail but the image helped me climb. Once up I was annoyed yo fond that it was straight back down. although I have to say that the axelias are gorgeous .
At the bottom.i crossed the road and took a foot break .
took off my socks and stared at my aching swollen right foot.
I took more meds .gulped down some orange drink stared some more at my foot. then put my socks and shoes back on, hoisted my pack and I was off . The trail still rock and horrid . as I was pounding down the trail I suddenly came to an opening with a view. There was a hiker all ready resting . I stopped took some photos and was just about to leave when the hiker said
There were people doing trail magic st the road.
Thanks I said and took off.
The trail now became nice and u began to follow a small stream as it tumbled over the rocks on it trip down.
Round the next corner I spied DUPONT again they had stopped for water.
I zoomed past them as I had plenty of water.
I must if crossed that stream about a dozen times as I walked down the trail.
Then there was the shelter. so stopped signed the register and was on my way.
The trail was still heading down and I was able to increase my speed a little .
Then more rocks and as I tried to cross them I managed to kick my sore foot in the worst possible place I could see stars and felt sick .The pain rushed through me as if I had been run through with a sword.
The pain was intense .A string of obscenities filled the air. I needed to sit down I shuffled forward in front if me was the stream again .
J dropped my pack took off my shoes and socks and plunged the painfully foot onto the icy water. Oooooo it felt good.
I decided to have lunch while my foot soaked. 4 other hikers including Dupont a d Phoenix. Mac by and asked what I was doing?
after lunch I dried off my feet put on my socks and shoes a d I was away .
In the distance I good hear an airplane. or was it a mower or generator.
But what it actually was , was the vibration of the power lines.
It didn’t sound right to me .and I was a little nervous waking beneath them.
As I continued down the trail I came up a notice saying trail magic at the church.
When i exited on to the road I could see it.
Omg what amazing people.
in the old school-house/ church was several boxes of things a hiker may need
ie meds. bandana. hats. socks . sunscreen, lip balm. razors
Then there was food and a big ice chest filled with sodas and water. Wow. Thanks again
I drank a soda. eats some fruit pots.
Oh and DUPONT and Phoenix were here too and several other hikers.
They wanted to do another 10 miles. I wasn’t sure if I had 10 more in me. but may try.
They then left with another hiker. There were two of us remaining. and I couldn’t help but stare at another set of hiking poles.
I have mine. you have yours I said to the other hiker. So whose ate them poles.

It took a while for my brain to register. But it was the hiker with Dupont. I quickly shouted as the trio were almost out of sight. Then waved my poles in the air.
The other hiker soon realised and began to make his way back. Sorry I said I kept staring at your poles but it took a while to register. No thank you Snail.
Glad it’s not only me who walks off without their poles.
I finished my fruit jelly glugged some cold water then took my trash to the bin.
let’s go snail I said to myself.
I hoisted up my pack and set off after dupont and his team.
Oh my God what a fantastic trail. all smooth and flattish .
Why couldn’t the trail been like this earlier. I was now pushing and nothing was hurting. In the distance I could hear the tooting of a train . I knew I had to cross some tracks later.
I was loving this trail, all smooth and soft. then I emerged out into a meadow.

and I was meandering my way across. z d the. I to the next meadow. I was loving this.

At last I was at the tracks . Looked both ways the. crossed over. I walked along a long platform that kept you out of the marsh. I pushed and pushed I could hear cars then I emerged out onto the road and near to a garage.
I crossed over and walked to the garage. then went in . I brought a cherry Coke and a ice cream . Paid and went and sat down. outside. I savoured my ice cream whilst chugging my cherry coke.
I put the bottle in the trash and made my way back to the trail. zit wasn’t that well-marked but I seemed to be heading in the right direction.
I soon found it and began to pace down, the trail was still lovely.

As I crossed over a creek I noticed another hiker who looked as she had bed. swimming.
Are you clean i asked ?
Cleaner came her reply. I laughed and hiked on
I was now in more meadows .I crossed over a cattle grid and into another meadow. This one had cows in.

I think 2 more hours I said to myself and pushed on through the fields.
I now came to a mother forest and had to climb a style to get in . as I entered I could hear people and so it wasn’t long until I came to about a dozen hikers and their tents.
I recognised a few hikers. There was handstand. her man and a few others.
I said my hello is and pushed on. typically the trail began to climb steeply.
Bugger have I made a mistake?
I pushed on and on puffing and panting. At last I was on. nice flat trail again . my watch pinged 7pm . mm need a spot.
Then around the next corner was a disused shelter or rather the remains of one.
I quickly put up my tent, found a good tree to hang from.then made tea.
It was getting dark as I age it then off to bed.

Start 504.5
Finish 524
mileage 20 miles
Remaining 1666 Miles