Day 51

Woods Hole Hostel to Holiday Motor Lodge – 10.4 miles
631.3 / 1554.0

Just to let everyone know, we are all surviving the storms here. Fresh had to tent in the pouring rain the other night so I met him in Pearisburg to chill at the motor lodge. I hiked just over 10 miles in non stop rain, with pretty gusty wind up on the Ridgeline. My plan was to keep going another 8, but after eating some food (a lot of Mexican food, so good!) I realized I was freezing and wet and Wednesday is also going to be another stormy day.

I had lunch with peppa and once again bid her adieu and found fresh. This motor lodge has a ‘bunk house’ for hikers, it’s awesome. We all chill in one big room, a computer a tv and hockey playoffs are on! We picked up about 78 beers for 7 of us and played beer pong, listened to music and watched hockey. I decided to take a zero tomorrow so I didn’t mind having some fun. Another great day on the ‘trail’!

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Day 49

Jenkins shelter to Jenny Knob shelter – 23.8 miles
599.5 / 1585.8

Today was HOT! We woke up at 6 am and Raven was like ‘what the eff are you doing here’. We ninjad into camp last night after everyone was asleep. So at 7 we departed for our day. We made good miles until about 9 when it actually got rather warm out. We passed laurel creek and murdered water, since this was the only good source we had for 24 miles. After about 12 miles we went down to a highway. For the first time in my life, I found a Twinkie by a highway, and ate it… A new low. But it was laid out with a Pepsi like someone wanted me to take it. Trail magic?

We finally made it to the shelter around 6:30. Peppa was still here! Apparently she got sick, uh oh. There is a lot of trail talk about noro-virus, a 24-48 hour stomach bug that hikers get on the trail. Hope I don’t get it! Except peppa is laying right next to me.. I’m gonna bathe in germ-ex. The car alarm bird is STILL going off. I’m going to find what type of bird it is, and make it extinct.

Goodnight!

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Day 50

Jenny knob shelter to Woods Hole hostel – 21.4 miles
620.9 / 1564.4

Today was a rainy one. Id say it was mid 60s. We wanted to try to hike the majority of the day before the rain started, so we were up at 6. I barely slept with the car alarm birds going off all night, whipper willows? I left at 7 just ahead of fresh and peppa. Fresh never caught up, but was talking about pushing on past woods hole, hoping he made it, it was crazy rainy.

Peppa caught up and we hiked pretty much all day til sole power also caught up. We had one steep incline when it started pouring out and we got soaked but we made it by 4 pm before the heavy rain came again. We chilled at the hostel and had dinner and talked, very nice way to unwind from a wet day. This storm we are in is supposed to last til Wednesday and has been causing havoc west of here. Hoping for safe travels!

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Day 48

Crawfish campground to Jenkins shelter – 26.7 miles
575.7 / 1609.6

Woke up refreshed! A great feeling. We had decided to put on some miles today so we struggled out of bed at 6:45. It rained on and off at night so my tent was wet. It was just under 40, cold enough for my hands and toes to go numb. Our socks were all still soaking wet, very cold, and wet. Well we put those things back on and headed out.

It didn’t take long to warm up, we had 3-4 very steep and long inclines today. Just one of them was 4 miles and 2000 feet up. It was exhausting! Our feet never really dried and it started giving me foot problems. Blisters or hot spots, having wet feet softened my hard callouses. I took ibuprophen and told my feet to shut up.

We stopped by a river to have lunch, dry out everything, and our feet. It was perfect but over too soon. We eventually got to camp around 9 pm, having to use headlamps to keep going. I’m so tired I just put my rainfly down as a tarp, and my sleeping bag over it. Sleeping on the ground tonight! The highlight of the day was walking out of the mountains into beautiful rolling hills and farm lands. We got to walk through fields for about a couple miles today, very pretty!

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Day 47

Partnership Shelter to Crawfish campground – 17.9 miles
549.0 / 1636.3

Today was.. A day. I was super tired having only slept at most 4 hours. There was no camping at the shelter so everyone was inside sawing logs. I also had a fair share of Jim beam last night so I wasn’t my perkiest. Apparently I was talking in my sleep which fresh and I were laughing about all day.

It rained before we left, and continued all day long. We walked 7 miles before hearing some thunder, and knew we were in for one. There was a cool moment when it was just sprinkling and me and fresh were still in t shirts, walking in the rododendron hallways, listening to the thunder roll through the mountains. It was pretty. We stopped for something and all of a sudden, 1 inch of rain in 20 minutes. My shoes were under water, it’s 8 pm and my feet are still wet.

We toughed out our first Virginia thunderstorm (not dying) and made it to a restaurant in Atkins called the barn. Our waitress was the worst person I have ever met, or maybe I was just hung over. But she would like yell at a new table 20 feet away instead of walking over ‘what do you want?!’ Hilarious.

We put up with her just enough to want to burn her house down, and hiked the last 6 miles to the campsite. Im in my tent and Ready for sleep tonight! Ps, you only get 1 picture because of rain.

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Day 46

Trimpi shelter to Partnership shelter – 10.6
531.1 / 1654.2

Today was unbelievable. Harry sent us word via Indiana, my first impression, he’s cool. He wrote us a letter, so sweet. Partnership shelter has showers, has pizza delivery capabilities, and town is a 50 cent shuttle away.

We got to the shelter at 10 am, for the 11 am shuttle, and ‘went to town’. I’m talking all you can eat china buffet! Damn. So good. Also I got a haircut, not my beard. Went to Walmart to people watch (holy shit) and grocery shopped at ingles. We got so much liquor and party hats for drifters birthday (and a tiara). We ordered pizza and got hammed.

This is amazing, I’m listening to frogs as raven blah blahing on, it’s perfect out, people are drunk, I love this place.

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Day 44

Lost Mountain shelter to Thomas Knob shelter – 12.2 miles
495.4 / 1689.9

Today was a pretty easy day. I woke up before my alarm at 6:30 to a chorus of birds, a sunrise, various snores coming from tents, and warm air! So easy to get out of bed when it’s warm! I had breakfast and we bounced at 7:45. All we had to do was crush 8 miles, and beer and sandwiches were going to be delivered to us. We murdered it. We got there early, I sat down leaning against my pack, reading and kinda staring out at the mountains.

Trail magic from bob and Jackie arrived again! 2nd day in a row. They are Gandalfs friends from MA and I must give them a huge thank you! Subway sandwiches, PBRs, cokes, cookies you name it.. Fritos with jalapeƱo dip, we were spoiled. We chilled for about 2 hours and it started raining on us around 12:30. The rest of the day was off and on rain, it was 50 degrees and windy.

Were almost at 500 miles! I’m about 6 weeks into the trip, and I just met a girl who’s sister went to Phillips Andover with my sister. They were Harvard students and I told them my sister went to Yale but hated it. Small world! Meg-it’s something Faulkner from Alaska.

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Day 45

Thomas Knob shelter to Trimpi shelter – 25.1 miles
520.5 / 1664.8

Another big day! 25 miles, we passed the 500 mile marker.. “Huge” – Donald trumps voice). It was a beautiful, wind swept, pony-esque day. Let me clarify..

It was freezing when we woke up, under 32 yet again.. April 23rd, tsk tsk. And it was windy! But clear, and there were views. We hiked out at 8:30 am in just shorts and no gloves (I sent most winter stuff home). We quickly entered the Grayson Highlands, which were beautiful, rocky, barren of trees, and reminded me of Braveheart. Oh and did I mention there were ponies? Wild ponies of the Grayson highlands, so used to hikers they don’t even flinch. I hear they can land a good kick. Fresh and I played with the ponies, fed them and moved on.

We hit Jackie and Bobs last trail magic after 13 miles in. They hid the rest of the PBR and soda for us near a road, which we found and were filled with joy. We had lunch at this spot and all decided we’d push for 25 miles today. We will be at Partnership shelter tomorrow night, and they offer pizza delivery and a 50 cent shuttle to town, and were trying to get there by 11 am, 10.6 miles.

The day turned beautiful, and we shared stories by the fire and now I’m exhausted. Bed time!

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Day 43

Damascus Virginia to Lost Mountain shelter – 15.6
483.2 / 1702.1

Damascus was a blast! The bike ride yesterday was amazing. It’s officially Spring in town, the trees are blooming, and the sky is on fuego! I saw some great sunsets, had some terrific food, saw some amazing sights along the Virginia creeper trail.

It was tough to leave today but a lot easier since Gandalfs friends from MA were there to slack pack us. Bob and Jackie took our packs 14 miles up the trail so we could hike without them, and then brought beer to that location at 3 pm! Me fresh kamikaze and Gandalf sat on a dirt road in the middle of the woods just crushing beers. It was a beautiful day too! About 75 degrees out, the sun was shining and the birds were bumping.

I’m sunburnt, it’s been a wonderful day, and i even had ice cream today! Yes!

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Day 42

Easter Zero!

Today was a great lazy day. Woke up and got the pack ready to change locations, and got to the bike station a little early to get fitted on a bike. We rode up to white mountain top, a 30 minute drive, and they let us go from there.

The ride down was so pleasant. I kept pulling off the bike path by the river to find flat rocks and pass out in the sun. The bike ride was a great change of pace from the monotony of hiking every day. It was smooth and lazy.

I was able to eat a lot, and also I face timed with some friends for Easter. A perfect day off!

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