June 8: mile 785: tent city at Glasgow city park

I woke up after a night rain storm that blew water under my tent and soaked everything.  That sucks, but so it goes.  I needed my third straight 20 miles to make Glasgow.  The overcast was a blessing because it never got hot.  Other than a couple 1000 foot climbs the hiking was pretty easy.  I hiked for a while with Steam but dropped back after an hour or so.  I am still pretty cool about hiking alone; it’s hard to pace other people and it’s nice to be able to start and stop when you want.  My experiment with changing my gait went well and my feet hurt a little bit less. 

Towards the end, right before Glasgow, I went across the largest foot bridge on the trail:  over the James river at sunset.  Spectacular view of the river.  I was lucky enough to hitch a ride the six miles into town from a charming elderly couple who likes helping hikers out.  

Once in the tiny town of Glasgow, they dropped me at the town park where the boy scouts built a hiker shelter by a tenting field.  Wow, it was hiker extravaganza.  Dollar general across the street with a pizza restaurant next door.  The city provides fire wood for bon fires and porta poddies for what not.  Hiker heaven!  I quickly quaffed a pizza, grabbed a six pack, and joined in the bon fire festivities.  It’s clear that a number of younger hikers/hobos that were out of money had been here for a number of days.  I bought some more beer to dispense to the needy.

I ran into a gal named No Chill for the upteenth time.  She is 300 pounds, six three, where’s an eye patch, travels with a dog named Leo, speaks with a lisp, is a veteran of the peace corps (Kirgistan), and has somehow been hiking exactly as fast as me.  Hmmm.  There is a lot more interesting about her that there isn’t time to elaborate on (the eye patch is from her crack head boyfriend stabbing her in the eye).  But I digress.  Sitting around the fire with these cats is so damn interesting.  No Chill is not unusual in her story, there are some people out here whose story you just can’t make up.  You start to build relationships with these people even if you don’t try to– mostly because you keep seeing them over and over.  It’s kinda cool.  You never know who you’re going to meet, or more often, re-meet.  As to the question of how is a 300 pound, dog toting, one eyed gal keeping up with me?  Let’s leave that one alone.  

I’m going back out in the morning and leaving the tent city behind.  Seventy-five miles to Waynesboro.  Yesterday apple says that I walked 48,000 steps and went up the equivalent of 486 flights of stairs– imagine.  I have lost 35 pounds and dropping fast.  Happy trails.

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