Things were getting a bit ripe in Chez Donny, and seeing how it was so warm, dry and bug-free at the campground in Buena Vista, it was time for some spring cleaning. Washed down the air mat a bit, cleaned the tent and rain fly, laundry of course and a general straightening. Washing the backpack and down sleeping bag will have to wait a bit.
Went to get BBQ and the nice lady working there then offered to drive me to the grocery store.
Had dinner with the wounded warrior guys that picked me up. Very kind and entertaining. I had forgotten to buy anti itch stuff and Deet, so one of them drove me to get some.
This morning, Thursday, was pack to the trail. The guys were kind enough to give me and a couple other hikers a ride to the trailhead.
I don’t know what they put in those Hardee’s sausage biscuits, but I flew through the foggy and rainy 13 today. Didn’t need lunch and less than a liter of water. And, it was the first hike in rain in many many weeks. We have had excellent weather. We have about 40 miles to Waynesboro.
Speaking of miles, passed 800 miles somewhere back there!
The wind came on strong overnight and pushed out the fog and rain completely. So Friday was a long long decent down the Priest mountain after running a nice ridge for a few hours. After a quick trail magic coke at the gap, it was up to Harper’s creek shelter. A mile before I got there, I ran out of energy like someone threw a switch, like 3PO taking an oil bath. Very strange. The shelter was cool, right next to the creek. I also finally got to meet some funny people that I had been reading in the log books for weeks.
So now we have 27.5 miles to town. How to split that up? Go long today and have short day into town? Two average days? The second shelter was 22. Let’s see how it goes.
Three ridges mountain was a long long ascent, but it came first thing inn the morning so no problem. Then just behind the first shelter, where lunch would happen, a guy handed me an apple and said there was trail magic, with burgers, down the road. Nice! I would need that to do 22. Got there around noon. A very nice crew from Blue Ridge Outdoors were doing trail magic. They took great care of me, two burgers, doughnuts, soda and cider. I did a little interview for them, got some food for the road and headed out.
After hours of walking, I got to the decision point campground and kept going. It was nice it and only 4:30. Those last five miles seemed to take forever! Luckily I had the magic food to keep me going. Like some cruel Lorentz transformation, the more cranky my feet got, the longer the miles got. I was pretty tired and grumpy when I rolled into the camp just before sunset. So now I have my 20+ day and now I don’t need another. It’s tough on the feet and makes the next day difficult as well.
Straight to bed, no dinner for me.
This morning, Sunday, I luxuriously stayed in bed till 8!
Then I did the remaining 5.5 at a leisurely pace, partly because I only had some fruit for breakfast.
I got to the road and the info center and 11. There was a guy there disgorging a hiker from his car and beef instantly offered me a ride into town. Super sweet! He had through hikers last year and was spending the day driving hikers around. Super great. So I was at the hotel a few minutes later.
Zeroing tomorrow to rest the feet and to let some of the tribe catch up. Currently at mile 860. The Shenandoahs start next!