Today was a tough 18.3, in horrendous heat. I had intended to hike 22-23 miles and complete the “Roller Coaster” by end of day. This section is so named for its continuous ups and downs. For my Atlanta friends, it’s basically seven 3/4 height Kennesaw Mountains back to back, with lots of rocks in there for good measure.
It must have been in the 90’s, and I went through six liters of water, two with strong mixtures of Gatorade powder. I was covered in sweat from 8am onward. Every state seems to throw one more good jab at the ribs upon exit, and Virginia is no exception.
I am meeting up with my Aunt Monica in Harper’s Ferry, and staying with her and her family for a few days. I was trying to get there by 10am tomorrow, but quickly realized that was way too optimistic. We are shooting for Tuesday now, which gives me time to visit the ATC headquarters, and explore Harper’s Ferry.
A Houdini of a mouse got into my food bag last night, despite its being fifteen feet up in a tree. It was a lazy hang to be sure, and I paid for it in trail mix. While I usually have an extra day’s food in my bag, the distance between Front Royal and Harper’s is only 54 miles, so I packed exactly two and half days worth of food.
Thankfully, I ran across Bears Den Hostel today, and they had a reasonably-priced resupply available. Upon arrival, one of their cooks handed me a “Hot Lovin.” I literally walked through the door, spoke to no one, and was handed a bowl half-filled with warm pomegranate and half with beautiful cold ice cream. I felt the love!
For $22 I got a day’s worth of food, a pizza, two cans of coke, a shower, and a tent spot for the night. It’s a wonderful place.
I met up with WalkMore today, a hiker I’ve not seen since Hot Springs. Lost is here as well.
When I met Lost back in Damascus, I knew he was good people immediately. At the time he was wearing a pair of peach colored shorts; shorts which I had some history with.
“Dude, are those Flo-Mo’s?”
“Yeah man, she gave them to me.” Thus, Lost had to be a good guy. I now know that he’s one of the best on trail.
It’s cool enough to sleep now, and I’m still amazed that the liters of sweat have been showered off of my skin. You never know what will happen on the AT. A day that felt like a walking in hell, ended with pizza and a “Hot Lovin.”
Take care my friends.