Date: April 29, 2012
Day number: 48
Wake info: 0545h @ hotel in Bland, VA to finish my blogs
Start Mile Marker (MM) & Time of Day (TOD): 605.5 mile @ 0852h at VA 606
Pain scale AM (1-10): 1
Happiness scale AM (1-10): 8
Hunger scale AM (1-10): 1
Start weather: Sunny, cool, calm, high 50s, perfect
End MM & TOD: 629.8 mile @ 2045h at Lane St, Pearisburg, VA
Approximate miles covered today: 24.5 miles
Pain scale PM (1-10): 3
Happiness scale PM (1-10): 8
Hunger scale PM (1-10): 1
End weather: Sunny (after dark when I arrived, though), clear, warm, lite 70s, low humidity, nice
Resting time: 1:59
Bedtime: in bed @ 2250h to take notes on the day while watching a baseball game (Tampa Bay at Texas). Asleep @ 2340h
Where slept: bed @ Rendezvous Hotel
Money spent: $40 (hotel)
Trail conditions: In order: muddy, smooth, rocky (slow), smooth, steep descent
Issues with Equipment and Clothing:
- Used gasoline in stove for the first time on this excursion (unleaded regular). Worked fine but a little sooty even after priming.
Liters of water consumed: 10.5 Liters
Approx fuel burn time: 10 minutes
Approx. pack weight: 45 lbs
Number of river fords: 0
Number of paved road X-ings: 3 (VA 606, Cross Ave, Lane Rd)
Number of road miles: 0
Number of named mountain summits: 0
Number of wrong turns: 0
Number of times I stubbed a toe: 13
Number of times I've fallen: 0
Number of bugs swallowed: 0
Number and location of showers: 1 (hotel)
Songs playing in my head:
- On th Road Again - Willie Nelson
- Don't Break My Stride
- Rhapsody in Blue - Gershwin
Happenings at home: Archer got off fine to Wallops Is. I am happy that his roommates are Dzian, Nathan, and Will. He's having fun, Kathleen says. Josie is happy to have the house to herself. Kathleen was putting together a bookshelf for Archer's room.
Companions (Assume thru-hikers unless noted SH for Section Hiker or DH for Day Hiker): I hiked solo all day and only saw for NOBOs (two pair) each moving pretty slowly. I know a large number of folks were staying at Woods Hole Hostel. I did meet a SOBO who was completing his thru-hike from last year after being forced off near Waynesboro, VA due to being bitten by a copperhead snake. (His leg was swollen for 8 weeks.)
Trail Magic: none
Flora: Sweet smelling flowering trees. Thick lush forest at the lower elevations
Fauna: chipmunk. I saw several old squirrel nests that were now supporting a plethora of plant growth high in the trees, especially ferns; they looked like hanging plant baskets. A mother deer with one juvenile; the mom was calling and calling for her baby to run away when I came into view, but the baby was reluctant to leave.
Vistas: A great view from a rock outcropping at mile 615. Angels Rest and the view of town
Attractions: Dismal Falls (I didn't hike the 0.3 miles to it, but it sounded nice.) Lots of water, swimming holes, and camping between VA 606 and Wapiti Shelter - a great place to bring the family!
State of body: Everything is rested and ready to go! By the end of the hike, however, my left knee is pretty swollen, but not in pain.
State of mind: I'm ready to go! Motivated to reach Daleville by Friday to see the family. My mission: make it so Kathleen has to do no extra driving that day and spend time coming to find me.
- I was sad to see Dad and Gy drive away, but I had a GREAT time with them (once I was over my stomach bug). I was so appreciative of their visit, for they helped me recover and were instrumental in helping me make up lost ground. I was so happy that Dad and I were able to walk significant parts of the Trail together.
- Being ill those couple of days was a disguised blessing. I slept through what was biblical amount of rain Wednesday night. And I've adjusted my mental attitude - if I can hike 20 miles while feeling that sick, I can do anything.
- I took very few breaks today (only 2 hours total) on the 24-mile, 12-hour hike. The day was a blur.
- Once I made the decision to make it to town and stay in a hotel, I knew I would be able to charge my phone, so as I hiked I called and talked to Josie and Dad briefly, and to Mom and Bill for an extend period since I hasn't spoken to then for a while.
- I had to use a headlamp for the last 30 minutes of the hike because I was hiking in the dark. That's always fun. No, really, it is!
- The long descent into Pearisburg was one of the steepest I've encountered on the AT. Even with switchbacks, it was vertical in places.
- Sketter, the friendly caretaker of the Rendezvous Hotel, sincerely told me just to call him at home if I needed a ride anywhere in town. He was a supremely nice fellow.
Lessons learned/confirmed today:
- If I do big miles, my speed is such that there's no time for me to relax and soak in my surroundings.
Droid Phone Notes: I charged the phone in the hotel.