This trip was all about the sunrises!
I started at Doyle’s River Trailhead and hiked South to Rockfish Gap, where the Skyline Drive meets the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was 27.1 miles over three days. Mostly fun and easy!
I’ve now hiked 679.9 miles in 70 days on the trail.
I met a bunch of thru hikers coming up from GA. They are an interesting group. I will leave it at that. Mostly beautiful people.
My shuttle driver described all of we hikers the same way:
“You all smell and I don’t care what your trail names are! And, you’re all crazy. Every one of you! All on a scale from 1 to 10 in the crazy category, but ALL crazy!” Actually, he said “F-ing crazy.”
Here are my favorites this time.
“Totally Chilled,” on the left, his girlfriend and their hiking buddy. Wish I had names. Oh! She was “Onstar!”
This pair was so sweet! They gave me a banana! I was hungry and out of food, on my way into Rockfish Gap. Never knew a banana could taste that good! We talked for a long time.
She is Jamie Lynn Guy, (on FB) and has a blog called “She Chats With Trees.” They were from Michigan!!! Native American roots. REALLY NICE PEOPLE.
Anyway, here are just some of the sunrise photos…
Bears!!! I saw 15 bears in the Shenandoah!
One in a tree!
Not much else went on…oh yeah, I fell on my face!!!
So, my hiker friend Kelly was showing me the proper way to use my trekking pole straps last week, to help me “pull” myself up the hills. I thought they were there to make sure you didn’t lose your poles down a cliff! Duh.
After a strong coffee break on the trail, I was flying up the hills…and came over a rise headed to Calf Mountain Shelter. On the downgrade I got going too fast and whamo. Caught my toe and down I went.
Like slow motion it was. I saw the jagged rock coming toward my face. I just arched up enough so the rock just clipped my eyebrow, cheekbone, and lower lip. My mouth was against the rock when the dust cleared.
Lucky. Really lucky.
When I got to the Shelter, there was Doctor setting up her hammock! Trail Magic strikes again!
She checked me out. Didn’t think I had a concussion, I agreed, doctor that I think I am. Ha. No stitches needed.
I was good to go!
I sat and had dinner that evening with the doc, (Pace) a retired military nuclear engineer, (Dream Catcher) and Chill and Onstar. Oh and “Happy Hiker,” an incredibly sweet Asian woman. She was so worried about me and my spill. Sweet.
Happy Hiker was out for her first time. Dream Catcher had 3 days of hiking left to finish the entire trail. DC took HH under her wing. It meant that it would take her 6 days, instead of 3, to finish. Can you imagine that? She doubled her finish time for her new friend. They had only met a day or two before.
That’s what Community is. That is why I have spend 70 days out there and I will be going back as soon as I can.
Just some more photos. I LOVED the Park. I will do it again sometime when I’m finished.
Calf Mountain Summit.
I hate it out there sometimes. I have decided to quit this goal to finish the Trail, at least twice. It is probably the toughest thing, physically and mentally, that I have ever attempted.
I won’t quit.