Day 43: Chartfield Memorial to Knot Maul

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
1
45
134
Trip End Jul 23, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hello readers!
I'm going to assume everyone is warm and dry and hunkered down for the evening. I'm doing pretty well, sort of warm and kind of dry... An AT hikers dream.

Today was interesting, had a mix of trail and town, good weather and bad, fun hiking and trudging... Etc. Now that I've successfully captured your interest I'm sure you'll read all the juicy details to follow!

Woke up to Stambler packing her things at what seemed like 5 o'clock but it was starting to get light... No complaints. I was a little slower to move but decided to breakfast in town and therefore didn't have to set that up. Boy though, without eating ( 2 funsize snickers bars is not a meal) the hiking was tough. No energy and no jump to my step. The 4 miles to town were slow.  Throw in a misty rain and it just wasn't much fun. I had no idea what time it was when I arrived at the I-81 interchange so I was happy when I asked the clerk at the shell station and it was only 9!

Walking in out of the rain with a huge pack and trekking poles to a highway rest stop certainly had some people givin me funny looks. One little kid was just staring at me like I was a zoo animal. (course even those get weekly baths, maybe it was the smell that had his interest)
Next door is a restaurant called "the barn" and so I went there and ordered a 2X4 with a couple other hikers, Mellow and Cornpatch. Used the proximity to the interstate to try to fix my journal and catch up with the world. Also charged my phone's battery so I can make it to the next town!

The meal was great: 2 pancakes, hash browns, sausage, bacon, biscuit and gravy, and eggs.  Also later another group of hikers came in and they gave me their leftovers (I sat around a little longer using my phone an staying out of the rain.

Finally the time did come to hike. Lovely start with rolling grassy hills and cool low clouds. Unfortunately though they opened up a couple hours later.  Also ran across Bulldog, the blind hiker, seems like he is making good progress, though they did skip the smokies. The hills in the second half of the day just seemed a little tough. I think the relative ease of Virginia's terrain is making me go soft!

My calf is still hurting which is quite annoying. I don't know what I should do about it! I've tried stretching and stuff, bought some new insoles for my boots... I feel like a sissy complaining about a sore muscle but when every footstep is this painful... Feel like I have the right to complain a little. I guess I could also take some pain killers but I don't want to be one of those hikers popping 25 ibuprofen a day (they are out here)

Just after the worst of the rain, found a cooler of sweet trail magic: someone from a local church left colas, some cookies, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!!!! I think ordinarily you'd question someone who'd eat a pb&j in an abandoned cooler...maybe y'all are questioning my sanity now, but let me tell you that thing got me all the way to the shelter.

Lot of people around, mostly section hikers. The "oak ridge boys" were here already and had magically contrived a fire from the waterlogged surroundings and were offering hot dogs! Mobil magic is the best kind. I helped finish off the extras. Also had my own dinner of mac and cheese and tuna (nope not sick of it yet)

Also finished off tumbleweed's dinner too. She was so impressed she gave me a chocolate bar for dessert. I may have actually eaten enough calories today to equal the expenditures!! (obviously a rare occurance on a non city day.)  It's been raining non stop here for about an hour now so I assume it's going to continue all night. Makes for good sleeping and glad that I
got here early and have my shelter spot.

So all in all a good day, though I will rejoice when we get another sunny day where I can be soaked in sweat instead of rain.  What is going on in the civilized world? I got a glimpse of CNN, but that's not nearly as interesting as what you all are up to! Drop me a note or something if u feel like it. I expected to be quite disconnected but that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about yall. When I'm hiking I'll often think up some event or memory from the past and
wonder what so and so is up to.

Alright time to burrow down into the sleeping bag and hope for clearing weather tomorrow.
Donner
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Comments

Sarah Lampe on

Hi Rob,
I've had some catching up to do on your entries and I can't believe how many miles you've gone! Amazing what feet can do!
Things are good here but the rain is really coming down up here too. We just got our first "family tent" and it would make you laugh. It is a Coleman 2-room monstrosity.... but it will be fun to get the kids outdoors a bit this summer and give them an appreciation of the woods!!!
Miss you!
Sarah

Michelle on

Hi, Rob
I am a new reader. I learned of your blog from your uncle, Mark Boyd. We both have sons the same age and we live within a few blocks of each other. We were talking recently and I told him of my desire to section hike the AT within my lifetime (so far I have 20 miles under my belt - a ways to go right!?). When I told him about this he proudly started to tell me about you. I look forward to reading about your adventure.

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