Day 65: Byrd's Nest #3 to Gravel Spring
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
134Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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Ok, now that we've ditched all the "day hikers" let's get down to business! Today was a good day until the last three miles, especially considering this weather we've been having. In case you missed checking the weather for SNP, rainy and 50s, down to low 40s at night. Well me and my warm weather sleeping bag were just not up for that... Probably the first night on the trip that I've been cold at night. Waking up at 3am and rubbing your arms is not fun. In fact it's the reason that after suffering in Patagonia that I got that zero degree bag. Why I sent it home is beyond me. Especially since were looking at another similar night. Brr.
I was slow as molasses getting going this morning. It was kind of comical that the 3 thru hikers were the last out of bed and the section hikers were all gung ho. I enjoyed listening to NPR and
classical radio on Magellan's crank radio. (the station was out of DC!!!) Finally left at 9 but it was a fairly easy 12 to a wayside at Elkwallow. There I enjoyed being in the heat and eating some food: chicken tenders, 2 orders of perfect fries, 2 Pepsi's and a blackberry shake. Mmmmm delicious, and when you have all that in your stomach, not so easy to hike. While I was eating (as in literally between bites) a German couple that was motorcycling kept asking me all those silly questions. I didn't mind until the lady mentioned that her son really wanted to do it...so why then were you asking me questions while I'm eating and you probably already know the answers!??!
The last 6 miles were not especially wonderful, mostly because all of a sudden I have developed blisters right on the ball of my right foot. Has to be the most painful thing ever. Robo-Jesus was telling me how I can puncture them but that's just not something I'm interested in doing right now. Pain really doesn't fully describe the 2.5 downhill on this. I don't honestly know how I'm going to hike tomorrow. Guess I might be hobbling for a while.
Fortunately we are leaving SNP tomorrow, and good riddance. I'm sure there are some nice views and stuff from the road, but the trail is just woods, tall grass that has either ticks (another had to be tweezed off today) or ridiculous amounts of shoe-soaking water. I'm frankly not sure why this is even a national park. It's more like a road through the woods and some nice views. Ok I'm being a little negative but it's really annoying to walk within earshot of a road for 100 mi.
In case you can't tell I'm ready to be finished with Virginia, and hopefully I don't quit before then! If the pain in my feet doesn't subside I don't know what's going to happen. It feels like I walked 25 today but it was only 17. Not good.
It's sort of ironic but I'm sure there are some if you out there at your jobs constantly thinking, I wish I could be out hiking the trail like him. Boy wouldn't you be surprised to hear I'm jealous of your warm and dry office conditions. (oh and don't you get the weekend off?) Anyway I don't mean for these to be so down. There are still good things to be had, for instance Robo Jesus shared a few beers with me and we had a nice chat at our tentsite. Also the wayside food was
really awesome and they let us just hangout in the gift store for an hour reading books.
I'm going to bed early and waking up early with the mindset that I'll be hobbling most of tomorrow so I need lots of extra time.
Here's to sunshine and summer, wherever they may be.