June 19: mile 942:  Open Arms Hostel: Luray Virginia 

Per the dire weather warnings, Crayola and I woke up at 4:00 am and were on the trail by 4:45.  It was freaky out there with head lamps only for light.  You can see the eyes from all the creatures when you pan your head lamp into the side forrest.  But you don’t do that often because you have to watch the trail with the rocks and tree roots.  But you know that they are out there.  We hiked for over an hour before the sky started to dimly lighten.  The rocks were horrible and took up most of our attention.  Gradually the sun started to rise more and really spectacular views  of mountain vistas presented themselves at intervals as we switchbacked back and forth down the mountainside.  We quickly got ten of the fourteen miles in and were in good shape to make the gap before the predicted storms came in.  The weather still looked good and Crayola decided that she was going to press on past the gap.  My foot was really slowing me down, and I was pretty committed to ducking into the hostel. So she raced ahead and I struggled down a two mile, 1000 foot descent over sharp rocks.  I was, as usual, feeling every rock on my feet.  I deeply contused the bottem of my foot on a sharp rock and took two hours to limp down a 45 minute descent.  Every step was agony.  I finally got to the bottem and hitched a ride into town to the hostel.

Once there, I went to the outfitter and bought yet another pair of boots with much more sole support.  By the time that I got back to the hostel it was clear that Crayola was right and I was wrong about the so called storm.  In any event, my foot was too messed up to continue anyway.  I enjoyed a pizza and a six pack and went to bed early for an early start.  Happy trails.

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