6.26.15 at the Halfway point

Hi. Sorry updates have been slow.  There is absolutely no service up here and even in some towns it is sketchy.  I am now at the northern part of VA. It took 22 days to get through Virginia. From Mile marker 465 to 1017, from the Blue Ridge Mountains through the Shenandoah.

I will attempt the 4 state challenge very soon. That is VA, WV, MD and PA – 50 miles in 4 days.  I heard the weather is supposed to be terrible, a lot of rain, flash floods, high wind. It will be a challenge for sure.

Aaron heads back on Saturday, gets picked up in Harpers Ferry. I will miss having him here!!!! Hopefully he will change his mind…

So Virginia has been awesome, incredible views.  When we had to hitch into town, a lot of times we were in the back of pickup trucks (one with a recently killed deer that was still warm and bleeding). We got a lift in a porche and from a very nice lady in her “dirty” truck which was a brand new Land Rover, not soo dirty.  Mrs. Jane was super nice and said she knew James Franco (my trail name is Franco).

We passed the 1/4 way and 1/2 way mark and signed in.

At one point we needed to re-stock and looked at a map and it showed that if we hiked down the hill (no path) the town was probably 3 miles. So we hiked through some thick underbrush and ended up at an Amish farm.  The kids that were playing outside were kinda freaked out when we came walking out of the woods.  Kinda freaked out is an understatement!!!  The mom and dad were nice and the dad actually got us a ride from a friend into town (the dead deer ride).

Mom and Jake came to see us Wednesday night on their way back from Nashville. Jake sang at the Grande Ole Opry with 29 other adults with Williams Syndrome.  She brought duct tape needed for the holes in my shoes and lots of chips.

Aaron and I both have lost about 10 pounds.  I may go home for a few days to rest and eat. Apparently I need to paint over the walls in my dorm room from last semester so I will do that now too.

Staying in hostiles is pretty interesting.  A few times we got a hotel room with other hikers. Air conditioning, a pool, warm shower is well worth the $10 each.

Enjoy the pics from VA. In no order really. Some may be more recent to older. When you see the rocks stacked up, hikers do that so other hikers know where to cross and pick up the trail on the other side.  Kinda cool.

We will really miss Virginia.

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1/4 way mark at Little Bushy (Gullion) Mountain. 6/11

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Maybe deer should be a little more fearful of humans…  Not our favorite ride into town

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We hikers flash the town below.

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At a hostile

 

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Slacking to kill time…

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Look closely at the tree, the blac on each side just above half way on the pic is a bear. Her cubs were kinda close so she is watching us VERY CAREFULLY.  Yeah, we ran.

 

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Deer here are NOT afraid of humans.

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At Big Meadows Lodge, Skyline Drive June 24

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Infection is healing,  looking better than it did.

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The Official sign in at the halfway mark

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Drawings at a hostile

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6.8.15

Weekend update..,

Friday, Caty brought Aaron and Burton from Slippery Rock to Damascus VA.   Thanks so much Caty and thanks for meeting mom on Tuesday to get Burton.

So we didn’t get much hiking done on Friday, maybe 4 miles.  Saturday we did better, about 12.  Burton was just too tired to move. He is fine, just super tired.  Mom made the trek on Saturday “evening” to pick him up.

She said it was not fun trying to find us on White Top mountain. I thought I was clear, “where the trail crosses 58, 3.5 miles past the gas station.” Problem was that I thought it was past the gas station, but in fact she passed the spot going TO the gas station. Then she thought the VA Creepers trail was the AT.   Soooo, it took her a long time to find us (no cell signal and at this point it was 3am.)  Oh the McDonalds food was soo good.  A bacon ranch burger, double cheeseburger, 10 nuggets, chicken wrap, & peach pie for each of us. .

Aaron likes it so far.  Fog makes for great pics (and may drown out the banjos).  It is really great to hike with a friend.  Thanks for joining Aaron. Will be a great time the next few weeks!

As of the morning of 6/8, I am about 512 miles from Springer Mountain in GA.  Average dropped a little, now just under 20 miles a day.  A day and a half in Damascus and a slower day Saturday because we were not going to carry Burton.   Hope to pick up the average a little in the next week or 2.  About 25% through the hike as far as distance.  It will be slower going in New England.

I don't know why it took Momma Bear 2 hours to find this sign!  Was within 10 miles of it and passed it like 10 times she said.  It was right next to the street!  Oh yeah, something about deer, opossum and raccoon jumping out in the street. We were RIGHT here, "where the AT crosses 58, at the sign."

I don’t know why it took Momma Bear 2 hours to find this sign! Was within 10 miles of it and passed it like 10 times she said. It was right next to the street! Oh yeah, something about deer, opossum and raccoon jumping out in the street. We were RIGHT here, “where the AT crosses 58, at the sign.”

Caty's picture of Damascus.

Caty’s picture of Damascus.

Damascus viddles

Damascus viddles

June 5th or 6th. Probably the 5th, Burton was too tired on the 6th

June 5th or 6th. Probably the 5th, Burton was too tired on the 6th

June 5, Burton is still hang in there

June 5, Burton is still hang in there

OK, this must be June 6.  He just did not want to hike any more

OK, this must be June 6. He just did not want to hike any more

Def June 6.  He is not moving until Grandma Momma Bear gets him.

Def June 6. He is not moving until Grandma Momma Bear gets him.

I think he herds the longhorn.  So VA

I think he herds the longhorn. So VA

And this is what we run into when the fog lifts. So VA

And this is what we run into when the fog lifts. So VA

Uh Oh. He sees us.

Uh Oh. He sees us.

Whoever built this, thanks.  Southern VA

Whoever built this, thanks. Southern VA

And around the bend this is what we see.  Weekend of 6/6

And around the bend this is what we see. Weekend of 6/6

The mini horses. So VA weekend of 6/6

The mini horses. So VA weekend of 6/6

Aaron and the horses. So VA weekend of 6/6

Aaron and the horses. So VA weekend of 6/6

Aaron and the horses. So VA weekend of 6/6

Aaron and the horses. So VA weekend of 6/6

Hey there fella

Hey there fella

Speechless

Speechless

Aaron is on the left.

Aaron is on the left.

Where's the trail?

Where’s the trail?

Do ya dare me to jump on one?

Do ya dare me to jump on one?

I am NOT jumping on one of these.  Not without an audience anyway

I am NOT jumping on one of these. Not without an audience anyway

 

 

6.4.15 into VA

Sorry, last time I posted was I was in NC.  AT&T does NOT have good service on the trail.  Verizon seems to be much better. I use other hikers phones to check in with Momma Bear.

Since the last post, I have gone about 195 miles.  I reached VA today. Hitching a ride into town to reload on food.  My roommate from Freshman year Aaron will join me tomorrow with Burton.  Caty, my roommate from last year will bring him from Pittsburgh to Damascus.  Thanks Caty!!! Don’t worry, Burton has Ruffwear hiking shoes and his own hammock.

I have gone about 470 miles so far, in 22 days.  Right on target averaging 21 miles a day.

It has rained A LOT.  OK, not as much as Texas and OK, but it has rained still a lot.

Last weekend a couple of hikers and I decided to trek together for a few days.  They are Army Rangers.  They asked if I thought I could keep up. I just said that I would try.  Yeah, I kept up just fine :)

They definitely peaked my interest in the military, especially special forces.  They said they would recommend me if I decided to join.  Definitely something to think about. Definitely.

A couple of nights I was able to get spots at hostiles.  One night a guy drank so much he passed out under my hammock.  LMAO.

One shelter was closed due to a lot of “bear activity”.

Feet are doing much better. Maybe it is because I am not wearing hiking boots, maybe because my pack is lighter. Whatever the reason I am doing better than a couple weeks ago.

Enjoy the pics below. Not sure exactly where some were taken, definitely in the ~195 miles between Northern NC and the TN/VA border. Not necessarily in any order either. Sorry.

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old lady 406

hostile

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Hitching a ride into Damascus the driver said I looked like I could use a beer.  Ya think?????  Thank you!!!!!!