Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 47. One last day of slack packing with Dad

Day 47. One last day of slack packing with Dad

Date: April 28, 2012

Day number: 47

Wake info: 0600h @ hotel in Marion, VA

Start Mile Marker (MM) & Time of Day (TOD): 586.9 mile @ 0734h at US 52 near Bland, VA

Pain scale AM (1-10): 1

Happiness scale AM (1-10): 9

Hunger scale AM (1-10): 3

Start weather: Cool, low 40s, mostly cloudy

End MM & TOD: 605.5 mile @ 1715h at VA 606

Approximate miles covered today: 18.8 miles (extra to shelter)

Pain scale PM (1-10): 2

Happiness scale PM (1-10): 9

Hunger scale PM (1-10): 4

End weather: Plentiful sunshine, balmy, pleasant, low 70s

Resting time: 2:07

Bedtime: 2345h

Where slept: bed @ hotel in Bland, VA

Money spent: $0.25 (gasoline for stove)

Resupply: Yes, fuel

Trail conditions: Generally very smooth. The last five miles were somewhat rocky and muddy.

Issues with Equipment and Clothing:

  • I am wearing my new boots today! I forgot what the boots were supposed to feel like, for my original ones were worn out! These feel great, and they are waterproof!
  • I couldn't find a sporting goods store that sold white gas by the once, so I will use regular, unleaded gasoline for the next week until I arrive in Catawba or Daleville.

Liters of water consumed: 10 Liters

Approx fuel burn time: 0 minutes

Approx. pack weight: 17 lbs

Number of river fords: 0

Number of paved road X-ings: 1

Number of road miles: 0.8

Number of named mountain summits: 1 (Brushy Mountain. This is at least the fifth time the AT has traveled over a Brushy Mountain.)

Number of wrong turns: 0

Number of times I stubbed a toe: 3

Number of times I've fallen: 0

Number of bugs swallowed: 1

Number and location of showers: 1, hotel

Songs playing in my head:

  • Brandi

Happenings at home: The kids were about to head down to the George School carnival when I phoned this afternoon. Archer and I discussed his upcoming 4-day Wallops Island trip with his classmates. He's so excited and I am, too, for him! Josie was designing and making a stuffed animal in the shape of a tater-tot. She's calling him Small Fry.

Companions (Assume thru-hikers unless noted SH for Section Hiker or DH for Day Hiker): My father! Blue, a friendly thru-hiker who is from just north of Doylestown, PA. He was really the only thru-hiker we saw on the Trail. Gun Runner (the fellow who is always smoking a cigar), Doug, one other NOBO, and one southbound DH were at the Jenny Knob Shelter when we arrived around 2:00 and they didn't look like they were ready to move on.

Trail Magic: One last day of awesome Trail Magic

Flora: The trees here were bursting with their summer green leaves, obscuring many views.

Fauna: A tiny, beautiful yellow bird with dark wings that flies from bush to bush just in front of me as if it were bouncing like a ball.

Vistas: None really, but some ok views of the surrounding hills and Valleys while on the ridgeline.

Attractions: Flat, easy hiking for the most part. Kimberling Creek suspension bridge was an impressive structure.

State of body: I feel great!

State of mind: I feel great, but am anxious about not publishing my blog posts because I'm so far behind. Oh well, sleep is more important.


  • We were all so tired this morning that none of us wanted to get up.
  • I hiked the first nine miles alone while Dad and Gy secured a hotel for our last evening together and sandwiches for lunch.
  • Gy drove for hours to by me another water filter cartridge because I'm pretty sure mine had frozen the night before the snow storm, despite my efforts to prevent that from happening. (If water in the hollow fibers of the element freezes, it will destroy the tiny matrices and render the cartridge useless.) I was very touched by his kind gesture.
  • Dad hiked ten miles over some pretty rough terrain and up and down a pretty good sized mountain today. I was very happy be on the Trail again with him and was proud of how well he did on his newly replaced knee. I was pleased the rain had stopped falling just before he and I set out.
  • When Gy was waiting for Dad and me at the trail's end, he met and chatted with No Trace, Unbreakable, Rainbow, and Nutter Butter.
  • The three of us drove into Wytheville to do one more small load of laundry (including my smelly hat that was about to gag me) and eat some great Mexican food. I'm really going to miss them!

Lessons learned/confirmed today:

Droid Phone Notes: Every device is charged and ready to go.


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  1. Did the white flowers smell slightly like a banana? Could be what we call sweetshrub. Know you enjoyed your time with your dad and Gy. Looks like ya'll saw some beautiful views. Went hiking on the Trace today in honor of you! So glad you are feeling better!!! Love you, Sherrie

    1. I don't know about bananas, but I recall smelling what I thought was honeysuckle. You know that syrupy-sweet smell? Ah the Natchez Trace - I wouldn't mind having some of that flat, smooth terrain right about now! Thanks for staying in touch, Sherrie. Love you!

  2. What a great and thorough blog! I love all the stats, stories, videos and photos. As the mom of a 2012 AT hiker, I know what it means to your family to have this communication. I'm so glad I found it. My son, Loner, started on the trail about a month after you did so I'll pass the url on to him. He'll love the stats!
    Stay healthy and keep enjoying every moment as you have!

    1. Hi CarolinaATMom! Thanks for writing in. I know my family appreciates knowing where I am and how I'm doing through the blog. Its the only reason I keep it up, because it sure does take a lot of time - believe it our not! Thanks for the well-wishes and I hope Loner is doing well. Encourage him to keep going. Very soon it will cease to be a physical struggle and turn into a mental one for him. Support from family and friends are sometimes the only thing that kept my legs moving. Stats.