Days 68 + 69
Day 68: Mile 579 | Jenkins Shelter
The morning was clear. The rains from the past couple of days seemed to fade. It was warm and muggy. We woke up in good moods and moved at a surprisingly good pace and we finally left before noon!
We ate lunch by a lovely stream early in the day. We climbed a lot and walked a ridge, one of our first of many Virginia ridges.
As we neared camp the rain started. Miles ran the last mile to camp to get the tent set up. I arrived at the shelter a bit after him. I got the water and hung the bear line as he set up our bedding.
When I walked past the shelter, full of men, I felt a few eyes following me. When I turned to look three of the men avoided eye contact. I made a mental note. Perhaps the men who had seen me the day before? I tried to shake it off. Who cares about a silly, embarrassing mistake?
I climbed into Miles’ tent with him and changed into my pajamas. We cuddled together and listened to the rain, EXHAUSTED. We fell asleep holding each other, forgetting to eat dinner. I FINALLY slept.
1. Amazing mood
2. Consistent pace
Day 69: Mile 603.5 | Jenny Knob Shelter
We awoke early and realized we hadn’t eaten dinner. We resolved to never do that again! We would be EMACIATED by the time we reached Katahdin if we kept doing that! We opened the tent vestibules and realized that the rain had gone and the sky had cleared. We left pretty early, for us, and hiked first to Brushy Mountain Grocer where I had sent my resupply. Upon receiving my package they informed me that they do not accept mail drops there and that I was lucky they held it for me. I graciously said sorry and that I would spread the word.
We got fried Oreos, BLTs, coffee, Powerade, and milk shakes there and charged our phones.
In the last couple of days the holes that had formed in my shoes before Damascus had gotten a lot worse. La Sportiva was taking their sweet time in deciding whether they would replace them or not. I spent two hours trying to coordinate with my Aunt Marci, who lives in Virginia, and any ‘outfitter, near Pearisburg to try to find myself a pair of shoes.
After we coordinated the shoe fiasco, 2:30pm we headed back to the trail (which turned out to be a highway...). With caffeine in or systems we powered through the day. We talked about our favorite music and authors. We learned each other’s passions. It was a bonding day. It was sunny. Our bellies were full. We were flying. As the sun began to set and the full moon rose we came down the last couple of switchbacks into camp.
We finished a 24.3 Mile day with glee and a caffeine high still coursing through our veins. It was an incredible day. We rolled up to the shelter as the full moon shone its light over the ridge. Miles and I set up in the shelter next to two section hikers so that we didn’t have to worry about our tent. Miles quickly hung a bear line for us to share, his best talent. I got us water.
We quickly made dinner while we talked to the section hikers. They marveled at our energy despite the fact that we told them it was mostly artificial (Gu Roctane drink mix and coffee mixed with gummy bears). We went to bed happy in the light of the full moon. I woke up every hour and watched the moon as it moved through the sky. Despite the little sleep I got, it was kind of magical to watch the sky change through the night.
1. Plans to see family! (Even under annoying shoe circumstances)
2. Deep fried Oreos + coffee
3. HUGE MILE DAY BIGGEST YET!!