Day 62 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 and was surprised that Fish was here .
Hey man what are you doing here as he’s normally fast.
I then met the ranger  and he’s a talker like me so  2 hours later I was taking my tent down and was on the trail by 10am really late for me.
I only had two miles until the road and so soon arived at the longest footbridge on the AT . As i began to cross a train appeared on the adjacent bridge once across I crossed the road and  as advised by the ranger  stood in the small car park . I was quuiockly picked up and on route to Glasgow.
I found the shelter  called the Paviion and set up my gear. This shelter has power, lights, loos and hot showers
I walked the short way to town  and resupplied , I also brought a sympathy card for a friend who had recently lost her husband  a great  friend  of  mine so after writing I  quickly visited the Postoffice to post it  nefore returning  back to the shelter to chill.
I drank a few beers emptied a tub of ice cream. As I had Cell service I  was able to check my email and noticed 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 with my fellow hikers  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  familar faces .
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 . and FREE!
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

Please note My video blog  is a day adrift!

Day 51 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 haven’t 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 boxes 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 to the 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. Accompanying  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 communal BBQ  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 35 Heading to Boots-off Hostel mile 428

Tuesday 15th may .

I was determined to make a good start so I was up early and packed by 6.30. drank my tea and wolfed a Danish and hit the trail at 7
It was cool and overcast perfect hiking weather for me.
The trail started with a small but steep climb then I was on my way .

I am not a fast hiker, more of a plodder, but i am doing the miles . I felt I was  amking fast  profress until handstand and another hiker zoomed past me . It is a little intimidating but hey hike your own hike.
I pushed on and  passed Bumble Bee, who was camping in a field, why  you  here i asked  as  your get a lot f condesation
Bumble be point  to a tree, i wanted to  go  there  but  the spot was taken ,
“Laters”  i said  and  pushed on
Several miles later   i came  across the  hikers who I met  at the shelter but  whp had decided  to hike on. I was impressed  with  the mileage that they had made. and i guess a lot of it in the dark.
I pushed on until I came to water, I drank a litre and topped upmy bladder. It was 2 miles to laurel falls  which was my  first target.
AS  i crossed  over a road   i  entered another park and  joined the river, I  following the river for a while before  crossing  over a bridge. Once across the  climbing started , I climbed up and  over  rejoining  the  river on the other side.
I then continued to follow  the river  as it flowed far below me.  It was time to climb down. the decent was down huge stone steps  that took me a while.  AS  i made my decent  the  roar  of the falls gready staedily  louder  then  i  could see them. Wow this decent was well worth the effort as the falls were magnificent. some mad people were swimming  in the pool  in the front of the falls.
I stayed for about  30 minutes  enjoying the  stunning  views of the falls, before moving on. The trail followed the river for most of the day before a huge climb.
At 1pm ,I decided to stop for lunch  and relax before tackling the next climb.
Several hikers streamed past  me , so  i  packed up  and  headed off   continiing to followed  the river  . I then caame across a huge wooden log  bridge   that  spanninmg  the river ,
Once across it was time to climb . this first climb took me 2 hr and once again  it seemed  a pointless climb. with  no view  and no purpose. But this is the AT.
I have to say it was so humid that my shorts were soaked, I  thought that i had a leaaking  water bottle but no it was my sweat. YUCK.
At last I was at the top  and typivally on most of these climbs   imeaditly  statterd my decent. As i made my way down i began to hear thunder rumble in the distance .
I may be getting wet, as I began the ever ending spiral down I was sudden it passed by Beth and Speedy .
Where are you  heading  snail Beth  said ?
Not  really sure    i  replied  laughing
We are  trying to get to Boots  offf, If  you  make  it  there Snail , do you fancy coming out for dinner later  “
“Of course” I replied.
Beth and Speedy  were  so  fast they wee soon  goon.
It was 2 miles to the hostel so I pushed  on trying to  crunch  the miles as fast as I could An  hour I arrived  at the Hostel, but sadly no more rooms . I checked in grabbed a soda then the heavens opened.
I quickly found a tent spot and put up my tent as quickly as i could before everything got soaked once  my tent  was up  I  sorted  out my gear.
OKay  i  need a shower , i walked back  to  the main building and found the showers  The shoers were great  , powerful and  hot,   Once  done  i went to find Bethand Dan.
they were in one of the bunk houses,  ,Sat outside was Bumble Bee  so  i  cahatted  for  her  for a while , before Beth   arrived shortly followed by Dan .
They went to  meet their friends,
Snail are  you coming ?
I dint want to intrude   but  their freinds were  graeat ,
How  are we all going to  get  to  the resturant?”  asked  one  of their  freinds
Snail  will you be okay in the trunk,?
No  probs  i said
I  got  into  the back  of the car  and  we were soon on out way
They found a pizza place with live music.

It was great ,I ordered  a 16″ Pizza which was awesome washed down with 4 pints of various ales. we had a great time laughing and enjoying each other’s company..

eventually it was time to leave .once back we had a few more beers than it was time for bed

Start 413
Finish 428
mileage 15 miles
Remaining 1762 Miles

Day 30 Leaving Uncle Johnnies Hostel

Again I slept really well waking around 7 and just dozing as I hadn’t  planned  on leaving until after lunch.
Happy feet, who was camped next to me was trying  to use up gas canisters and so was boiling water for people so I grabbed my cup and tea bag before  visiting  the loo
It’s such a treat to be able to flush a toilet.
I drank my tea  whilst chatting to Happy feet and Optimist. I was telling her about loosing my stakes  and that I really  needed to buy a pole repair sleeve just in case.
I began to slowly pack away my tent as it was forecast to rain and I wanted a dry tent,
As I dragged my pack out of my tent , my missing tent stakes fell out onto  the  grass .
I looked at happy feet and she looked at me, WTF I said I have just brought new ones.
I have been with stakes , for almost a week and  just as i brought new ones  they appear I emptied my pack out at the chapel In hot springs and they were not there then Oh well I now have spares.
At that moment Danimal appeared ,
“Jess is  here”,  he  announced
So i went  to find her and say hi and  tell her that my tent stakes  had  miraculously appeared which made her laugh
I gave her back the two that I had borrowed.
It was  really sunny as I finished packing then i carried it  to the  porch and joined Jess for a couple of breakfast beers . SAS we enjoyed our beer Big Mike  appeared and gave me  half of his  ham Sandwich that was huge.
There was a shuttle going to town for breakfast. but I was going to go in on the next one around lunch time, grab a  pizza and a few bits from the store.
So continued  chatting to new and old friends until it was shuttle time. Omg about 25 of us squeezed into the bus.(wouldn’t happen in the UK) and headed to town.
We were dropped us at the store. and  quickly went shopping ,  I got most of what I needed then crossed the road to the other store to finish off
I wasn’t really hungry so sat on a bench and  decanted my food in to Ziploc bags whilst munching on a bag of grapes. Several other hikers joined me as we waited for the bus to return.
Once back I quickly phoned AT&T to renew my phone contract. good  that’s sorted
I weighed my pack and was pleased that it  was now 40 LB, although that’s without the  food that I had just brought or the  2 liters of water.
But I was happy as  I stuffed all the extra stuff into my pack. I then peeled an orange to pack out( didn’t want to carry the peel ) . One last check  before saying my good-byes.
As I hoisted my pack there were several very large claps of thunder, but  i am still going.
As I headed towards the bridge, It began to drizzle with but  I didnt care  Yet !

My back groaned under the weight of my pack as I found my stride, I crossed the bridge then followed the railway track  for  a while before crossing over it and up.
I knew I had some big climbs as it  had been a long decent into town.

I climbed a bit I came down I climbed a bit then I came down I climbed some more than did some sketchy rock climbing  that with l a full pack was no fun. I was then  in the forest , still climbing but gentle. I was then followed the river  crossing  over it  about 5 times using very sturdy bridges.
the sun now decided to come out which was nice to see until  I  started a mega climb, with the sun I was soon roasting. Omg it was hot ……
it was steep and seemed  never bloody ending, up and up and up some more until at last  it began to level out. It was 5 pm when I cruised into the next shelter.
There were 5 other hikers here and several tents were up. I signed the shelter register then sat for a moment to recover after that climb.
It was 5 pm,  I pondered and pondered some more. I  then hoisted my pack and said I am going on as I wanted another 4 miles ….
I can do that I thought and off I went ..Typically the next part of the trail was rubbish , strewn with rocks and  roots so I was more  stumbling  than hiking .  This type of surface really hurts my feet Arrhhh I shouted at myself. Eventually it became normal allowing me  to speed up, well until a snake shot out in front of me.
That stopped me dead as i reached for my camera  to video it  until it slithered off.

OKay snail  back to the target , i pounded down the trail  going  up  going down   until i caught a hiker named Maps who was standing pondering  if  she should pitch her tent here . There were several spots but she was concerned about Wind!!.
I left her to it as I was heading on, as the next hour passed I began to look for suitable places…… Then at last. that will do me.. and  with several suitable trees to hang  my food  bag. It must be my lucky day, perfect.
Amazingly  I threw my line over the tree and  on the first go,So that put a smile on my face. I walked back  and soon had  my tent up and my bed inflated
I put on a brew  then  began to cook supper  it was a lovely  spot  and   nice  to relax in the late sun . When I was  done I hung my bag before heading back  to my tent and bed

As I had started late  I was pleased with my 8 miles

please note my videos are on Facebook I will add more photos later

Start 343.7
Finish 351
mileage 8 miles
Remaining 1839 Miles