Last weekend was certainly a highlight of my hike. I got to spend time with close friends, as well as have them meet some new friends I’ve made along the way. This years trail magic trumped years past. Pop up tailgate tents, four coolers (full of beer, soda and Gatorade), a full size gas grill, burgers, dogs, bacon, biscuits and last but not least, a massive low country boil complete with corn, potatoes, sausage and fresh NC Coast shrimp. The only downfall to the magic was the weather. The Atlantic coast had just gotten a tropical storm and we received it remnants. High winds and unrelenting rain lasted all day and night. Regardless, the weather didn’t dampen the magic.
Unfortunately, the magic had to end, and I had to say goodbye, once again, to great friends and Hazel Mae. This will probably be the last time I will see Hazel, Gaucho and AD until I complete my journey…as well as the last time I will see Warp and Perro until we summit Katahdin together in September. This weekend also put me behind my hiking group by a day, as they all moved on and I had to backtrack a days worth of miles.
It’s tough to say exactly, what it is that causes the “Virginia Blues” for each hiker, but I can say that everyone I’ve talked to is experiencing them in one way or another. For me, leaving mans best friend and my boys, hiking alone again, stormy weather and the shear boring nature of the next 100+ miles; are the culmination of my blues.
Although said blues have been in full force for the past week, I’ve made quick work of the AT miles within the Shenandoah National Park. A cold front moved in a couple days ago and I took full advantage of it, making quick work of my longest day yet…32 miles.
I still haven’t been able to catch up with Bernard, Finn or the folks from “the shire”…but I’m sure I will by the time I hit Harpers Ferry. Today, I hit mile 942, leaving just over 80 miles to Harpers. I stopped over in Luray, Virginia to dry out and get a solid square…which was a full medium pizza and cheese sticks…and brownies. Hiker Hunger, check. That being said, I’m down 15 pounds thus far, feeling strong and in the best shape I’ve been in a long while…now all I have to do is quit this tobacco habit. Eventually.
Back at it tomorrow. All for now.