Day 48: Today was a short day out of Damascus. We mailed most of our cold weather gear home, keeping our down jackets, hat and gloves. Since we had to wait for the post office to open, we got a late start. We finished hiking early, which I’m happy about. I need to catch up on some sleep. Trail days was not very restful, because there was so much going on!
Day 49: We hiked 16.2 miles today. I felt good for most of it, though I got a little light-headed near the end. The views from the shelter are spectacular! We got some trail magic today in the form of soda and an extra meal to cook. We stuffed ourselves with easy mac for dinner.
Day 50: We passed 500 miles today! Another 16 mile day but this one was broken up by a hiker feed in Troutdale! So much delicious food and 73 hikers. There was plenty to go around. After the feed we got shuttled back to the trail and had three miles to go to the shelter. We hiked the last mile in the dark with our headlamps. We decided to sleep in the shelter to be quicker getting to bed and faster in the morning. There was a big thunderstorm overnight and it was nice to start out the next day dry!
Day 51: 19.7 trail miles today! Our longest day yet, but we cruised through the miles, making good time. There were no views, so I used music to provide further entertainment. My feet were definitely hurting by the time we got to the Partnership shelter, but nothing more than to be expected from such a long day. Whoever said your feet would stop hurting around 500 miles was lying! There was little room in the shelter, so we decided to hitch to town. We got picked up by a couple from PA that were down doing some section hiking. They drove us to the Pizza Hut in Marion. As we got out of the car, the woman handed Laura $20 and said dinner was on them! You get trail magic in the most unexpected places! So wonderful. We each got a large pizza and salad bar. After dinner we decided to go stay at the Traveler Inn since it was so cheap! I got to talk with my parents on the phone and I miss them. They are the best and I’m thankful that I grew up adventuring into the woods with them. Sleeping on a real bed tonight. Excited to continue our adventure!
Day 52: This morning we spent in Marion, VA resupplying and at the library uploading pictures/videos and blogging. We got a shuttle back to the trail around 3:30 PM. A short 7.1 miles to the first shelter and one viewpoint. We got in a little before 7 PM and had a huge dinner. The conversations tonight were fun. I was smiling and laughing all night. This is what I love about the hiking community! Big day tomorrow.
Day 53: We are now on a normal 6 AM wake up schedule. We weren’t on the trail long when we came to an old school-house. Inside was trail magic! I had soda, chips, a little debbie and I got more sun screen. There was also a museum off the trail, but we decided to continue on instead of visiting. We walked through some cow fields and then came into Athens, VA. We decided to stop at The Barn Restaurant for ice cream and ended up ordering a second breakfast! We later got ice cream at a gas station. Onward we went through more fields and then back into the woods. There were two steep climbs/declines to get through and my feet were sore afterwards. We found more trail magic three miles from the shelter in the form of soda! Once we got to the shelter we set up and went to get water. We talked with some other hikers over dinner and hung our bear bags. 18.4 miles today, bed time!
Day 54: A tough 19.1 miles today. We started the morning with a short but steep up/down and then a 4 mile hike up to Chestnut Knob Shelter. We stopped there for lunch then it was 10 more miles to the next shelter. The terrain was rocky and without views. The last 3 miles were the worst! It was all downhill and my pace slowed greatly, as my feet were killing me! I even cried a little (but not much). I had fun complaining with Cheer Up and Lovin’ Cup once we got to the shelter. We got in pretty late, so we didn’t even get to bed early!
Day 55: Today was a fun day! We cruised the first five miles down to a road where we got shuttled to a free breakfast! There was a sign at the shelter last night telling us about it. We stuffed ourselves and then they gave us a free shuttle to the Dollar General in Bland, VA to resupply! They dropped us right back at the trail. From there we had 9 more miles to the shelter. The terrain was pretty easy but it got very hot by the end of the hike. We got in mid-afternoon, so I took a nap. I was still feeling yesterday’s hike. After I got up, I ate dinner and we hung our bear bags. I think I will read a little before bed tonight.
Day 56: We did just over 16 miles today. After our morning snack, I heard a rumble in the clouds above us. A few minutes later we were being rained on. I decided to not put my rain gear on since it was really warm out and I was already sticky. The rain felt really nice. We arrived at the shelter for lunch and it was full of people. We ended up staying for two hours! After lunch we hiked 6+ more miles and crossed a suspension bridge. We walked half a mile to Trent’s Grocery where we are tenting tonight. I got a bacon burger and Cajun fries, along with a chocolate milkshake! I also got a shower, which is nice because I was stinky and gross and sticky. Can’t wait to do laundry!
Day 57: Today was very hot and I got tired and slow after lunch. We stopped for a break and snack, and I was back to normal afterwards. We hiked to the Woods Hole Hostel, an amazing place! We tented there and got a homemade dinner that was very tasty. Before dinner, the owner had us all hold hands in a circle, give our names, home location and one thing we are thankful for. The food was amazing!
Day 58: We woke to fresh coffee and a great breakfast at the Woods Hole Hostel. After breakfast, it was hard to leave, because the place was so nice and the people so friendly. I played fetch with their dog! Once we set out, the going was easy. We got three viewpoints in the short 10 miles to town. We got into Pearisburg, VA this afternoon and hit the DQ before heading to the hotel we are staying at. We had Mexican food for dinner and a comfy bed to sleep in!
Day 59: Zero Day 🙂