I hiked 11 miles today from the Woods Hole hostel into Pearisburg VA. It was not a pleasant hike as I was still sore from the record 32 miles yesterday. The 32 miles took me from sunrise till about 6 PM, but I felt it was necessary to get a place inside the hostel rather than being out in the forecasted 30F weather. I made it to the hostel and was told it was full, but Scout and Shaman made room for me and I had a place to sleep inside. My brother met up with me at the hostel and brought a package from my friend Lydia. He had been looking for me for a couple days but I had my phone off in the wilderness. Through talking to some other hikers he figured out about where I would be.
The day prior to the 32 mile hike I only made 2.5 miles. I was expecting a storm to come in that afternoon and thus decided not to push on 10 miles to the next shelter. My guess turned out correct and a good storm came in while I stayed dry in the first shelter. I had however realized that I left my phone in the library at Bland VA. For those who’ve read my other posts you’ll realize this is the second time I’ve left my phone someone. I don’t know what my problem is. But, Spirit, the wife of a hiker named Steady, got the phone for me and met me the next morning at a road crossing. So I got up at dawn and hiked 17 miles by noon and met her for tea and cookies. (although I don’t drink tea, so I had just the cookies which were quite good). I made it over to “Trent’s Grocery” for lunch which sounded promising, but was really just a gas station. Considering that I had walked the 1/2 mile there I got food anyways. The food didn’t taste well, but I ate most of the double cheeseburger and fries anyways. That’s the first meal in a few weeks that I have not finished. I’m down to 180 lbs even as I weighed myself at the Woods Hole hostel. Since I had hit 17 miles by lunch that day and a relatively flat section lay ahead, I figured the 32 miles total to the hostel was in reach. The flat section’s, however, don’t drain water very well and I had to do a variety of dance moves over the mud puddles. Finally on one of them (about the 132nd mud puddle if I remember correctly) I miss-stepped and got mud over the edge of my shoe and into my sock. It happened a second time later the day as well, but those are the perils we face.
Immediately after coming into Pearisburg today a car stopped to offer me a ride. It was Noodles who I hadn’t seen since Erwin TN. He had rented a car to do a section hike with his girlfriend for a few days. He drove me over to the Dairy Queen. While there I struck up a conversation with some locals who ended up driving me to the Post Office, the Hostel to check in, and here to the library. Since this is a spread out town they saved me 3 or more miles in walking.
I only have an hour on the computer here so I’m going to do my best to post lots of pictures. I’m having trouble uploading pictures here but have managed to put them to Facebook.