May 23: mile 568: Chestnut Knob Shelter

We woke up early and smartly signed up for Tina’s twelve dollar gourmet breakfast.  It was the best meal that I have had on the trail so far.  It was nice getting to know some new folks since my buds Blue Stem and company got ahead of me.

After getting a little of late start due to the breakfast.  We got back on the trail around 930.  The terrain has really changed from big mountains to much smaller ones with occasional runs through cow pastures and meadows.  The “green tunnel” is also taking affect as things get overgrown.  The trail is chocked with grasses and other vegetation.  The ups and downs are much smaller and easier here in Virginia.

On the way out I passed this 1890s school that was kind of a museum.  Nobody there but it was full of all of these trail magic boxes of stuff from the methodists.  I sat out on the porch and drank a couple of sodas and some chips.  A little surreal but cool.  

Meanwhile, the blisters were slowing me down substantially.  I hiked by myself the whole day.  By one o’clock the rain busted loose again and things turned more and more nasty.  I had set out to hike 15 miles to the chestnut knob shelter. The shelter is atop a mountain after a five mile 2000 foot climb.  It rapidly turned into a freezing, endless uphill death march.  In the mud.  Holy shit was I unhappy.  Soaked to the bone, bleeding heel blister, and a five mile climb in the rain.  I finally hit the shelter at five and settled in with torch and medicine man.  Unbelievably, as the freezing rain intensified, more and more hikers arrived.  As I am writing this we have seventeen people piled in here.  There are bunk spots for eight.  Should be a cozy, togetherness night.  The storm rages on, happy trails.

One comment

  1. Hi Pat, just wanted to let you know how much I look forward to reading your dispatches/pictures while you’re on the trail. I feel sorta kinda maybe I’ve vicariously done it a little…..I’m sure you’re sick of the rain! I’m sick of the rain for you! And Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy that I am, I’m concerned about those blisters! I HOPE your trails are happy. I will so look forward to talking with you once this is over. And how nice that Mo is going to join you for a small part of it. Hugs to you both, Linda


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