Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 46. A great 23 mile slack-packing day with Dad and Gy

Day 46. A great 23 mile slack-packing day with Dad and Gy

Date: April 27, 2012

Day number: 46

Wake info: 0609h @ Hotel in Marion

Start Mile Marker (MM) & Time of Day (TOD): 530.6 mile @ 0738h at Partnership Shelter

Pain scale AM (1-10): 1

Happiness scale AM (1-10): 6

Hunger scale AM (1-10): 2 (stomach is still not back to 100%)

Start weather: Mostly cloudy, cool, low 50s, clear.

End MM & TOD: 554.0 mile @ 2005h at VA 42

Approximate miles covered today: miles

Pain scale PM (1-10): 2

Happiness scale PM (1-10): 10

Hunger scale PM (1-10): 5

End weather: Plentiful sunshine, pleasant, calm, 60s-70s, perfect hiking weather

Resting time: 2:31

Bedtime: 2358h

Where slept: bed in a hotel in Marion, VA

Money spent: $0

Resupply: no

Trail conditions: Generally very smooth with occasional patches of roots, rocks, mud, and running water

Issues with Equipment and Clothing:

Liters of water consumed: 8 Liters

Approx fuel burn time: 0 minutes

Approx. pack weight: 15 lbs (slacking!)

Number of river fords: 1 (Holsten River overflowed the bridge)

Number of paved road X-ings: 0

Number of road miles: 0.3

Number of named mountain summits:

Number of wrong turns: 0

Number of times I stubbed a toe: 7

Number of times I've fallen: 0

Number of bugs swallowed: 0

Songs playing in my head:

  • None

Happenings at home:

Companions (Assume thru-hikers unless noted SH for Section Hiker or DH for Day Hiker): My father (DH) and my brother, Gy (DH). We met in passing the following thru-hikers: Dundee (this real-life Aussie looks a lot like the movie character's namesake); a young, soft-spoken couple named Flowers and Daisy; Doc (this was a new Doc for me. She realized that there are a number of others in the Trail with her name)

Trail Magic: Dad and Gy hiking with me, feeding me, encouraging me

Flora: Rhododendrons and Cherry trees blooming; Dogwoods

Fauna: Lots of colorful millipedes (Gy taught me how to distinguish them from centipedes.)

Vistas: Early this morning on top of the ridge to the east of I-81 looking down on the rolling hills of the countryside and the interstate. Despite the distant view of the highway, this is one of my favorite vistas because I've driven down this very section of the interstate and always looked longingly and wistfully at the mountain ridge I was currently on thinking, "One day I'll be up there hiking the AT along those mountain ridges." There were several other vistas in the afternoon portion of the hike of several of the the gently rolling Virginia farmlands.

Attractions: Lots of water along this hike, especially early. Plenty of views of rolling hills. Xxx museum. Holsten River.

State of body: I feel great! My left knee is swollen a tiny bit, but this I feel is normal after a two-fast hiatus and not enough water in my system. As I hiked, my strength, stamina, and appetite all returned to levels near where they were before I became sick.

State of mind: I'm lying in a soft bed in a hotel, still recovering and feeling tired from my recent GI tract illness, and I'm trying to convince myself that I'd rather be hiking than sleeping. The urge to just roll over and sleep some more is almost too powerful. However, I know I must battle these feelings, for I'll probably feel differently once I'm on the Trail. Towns have a way of poisoning the mind. Plus, if I get an early start I'll have a chance to do a big mile day if I feel up to it. And having some big mile days are my only chance of seeing Kathleen and the kids in a week without them having to drive hours out of their way to find me on back country roads. I'm now feeling more motivated and ready to hike. ... I ended the day feeling happy, satisfied, and super-positive that I'll be able to get to a place where Kathleen and the kids can easily reach me.


  • The box was at the Relax Inn all along. The owners of the hotel were unable to speak or read English and could not match a handwritten "Chris Odom" with the sane name on my box. If a thru-hiker sends a box here (and many do) do not assume that is missing if the proprietors tell you the box is not there. Rather, insist that you look through the packages yourself. Also, the hotel is a not a very appealing place.
  • The food at the xxx is super and very affordable.
  • It was great to hike again with Gy, although I worry that the miles may have been to many for him today. However as always, he never complained. And I was thrilled to be able to hike five miles of the AT today with Dad. His replaced knee gave him no trouble at all, and I couldn't even tell that he had had surgery just 5 months ago. I'm happy that some of today's terrain was level and smooth!
  • Today I passed a major milestone: I've hiked over 25% of the entire AT!

Lessons learned/confirmed today:

  • Be assertive if someone tells you, "I'm sorry, but your resupply box is not here," and check the boxes yourself.

Droid Phone Notes: The phone was recharged via the wall outlet in the hotel in the evening.


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  1. Great pictures of you three! Sherrie

  2. Thanks, Sherrie! I had a memorable time with them both. I'm particularly pleased that both Dad and Gy (again) were able to experience part of the Trail with me!