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Camp Chores Are Never Done

Day 64 Friday May 26, 2017 Miles: 634.3 - 643.7 Weather: NOT RAINING Tenting We were up way to early for our planned "sleep in" day. But since our luxurious accommodations were a step below a dive in Shortcake's words I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The place had an odd smell upon check in but it seemed better then the rain. However, after sleeping several hours my lungs had all they could take and woke me up with a burning sensation, a headache, and chest congestion at 1:30am. I suffered through in and out of sleep until I saw Shortcake awake about 6:30 ish. We packed up and were out of there. On our way back to the trail head our road walk took us past a Dairy Queen. Finally we co

Don't Mess With Black Bear

Day 63 Thursday May 25 2017 Mile: 623.7 - 634.3 Time: 7:00 - 2:30pm Weather: NOT RAINING Room at Holiday Lodge I had a great night's sleep in the loft of the hostel. I was presently surprised. My first impression upon entering the bunkhouse was "Oh no! This is nothing more than a barn with mattresses crowded on the floor in a hay loft!" Without heat even. I was just happy to be out of the rain. It was just a converted barn but it wasn't quite as bad as I thought. But then again I think my standards are lowering. Shortcake and I skipped the family style breakfast. We wanted to get to Pearisburg as soon as our tired feet could get us there. We were the first hikers out. We weren't gone an hour

At Least The Flowers Enjoy The Rain

Day 62 Wednesday May 24, 2017 Mile: 616.5 - 623.7 Time: 7:30 11:40pm Weather: Drippy, Wet, Rainy, Breezy and Cold Bunking at Wood's Hole Hostel It stopped pouring last night about 1:30am then picked right back up at 2am. By 4:30am the only drizzle was the drops from the leaves as the breeze blew. We stayed dry in our tent but it was difficult to pack things up. We needed to do so inside our little home but with two bodies trying to maneuver bags and gear without dragging in muddy wet leaf litter was quite challenging. Once that was done then came packing up the tent. There was no sense in even wasting effort in trying to shammy the tent. I just broke it down and rolled up the soaking shelt

The Quest For A Milkshake Continues

Day 61 Tuesday May 23, 2017 Mile: 602.0 - 616.5 Time: 7:57am - 5:15pm Weather: wet, drizzle, then pouring Tenting at Wapiti Shelter The only good thing about today was I didn't have to work and even then I was asked by an elder man named Kermit if I wanted a break from hiking I could do a work for stay at his house piling wood. Hindsight is 20/20. I should have piled wood. At least I'd be in a dry house. The day started drizzly but we were not concerned. The forecast was For scattered showers and we had our eyes set on Trent's Grocer. A small convenience store half mile off trail at a road crossing. I went there in 2015 and they had the best little lunch counter and milkshakes. So off into

Boredom Is A Personal Problem

Day 60 Monday May 22, 2017 Miles: 590.1 - 602.0 Weather: Rainy, misty to overcast but always HUMID! Tenting at Jenny Knob Shelter Today was a milestone day. We completed 600 miles. They are starting to rack up. It seems like we just did 500 and I was playing in pony poop. A different artist had it marked out this time. We started the day in rain which turned to a mist then just overcast but it was always extremely humid. At times the sweat was just pouring off my face and arms. If that wasn't bad enough the nats in the air were sticking to my bug repellent sweaty skin. They had no chance. I was a walking bug strip. Then the caterpillars have hatched. They would be suspended from trees and dr

Color Of The Day is Orange

Day 60 Tuesday May 21, 2017 Mile: 574.3 - 590.1 Time: 9:47am - 6:15pm Weather: Cloudy, rainy and humid Hotel Orange was the color of the day. It started out with Shortcake in her orange raincoat. Then we saw a flaming azalea tree in bloom. Next and throughout the day we saw orange meets. These little creatures littered the trail. We saw stopped counting at 30. An orange toad, a penny and nacho cheese Doritos at two different trail magics. My itchiness has slowed. Only two new spots. Yesterday while we were hiking Bruce slaved spraying, washing and cleaning all my gear and tent. Hopefully it took care of the bug issue. We are spending the night at a hotel again. The once close to the trail wa

I Didnt Know They Came From Trees

Day 58 Saturday May 20, 2017 Mile: 546.1 - 574.3 Time: 8:04 - 6:30pm Weather: Hot and Sunny Hotel We slack packed today with Batman's help. It is so much more enjoyable without a heavy pack on our backs. Today was filled with lots of bridges. There are so many types. Old ones, new ones, high ones, and low ones. Green mossy structures and dry rotted types. We evaded a storm most of the afternoon. We huddled over the bald again. It seems like we are always hurrying through some of the best view spots avoiding potential danger. The weather has been so stormy. At least once a week we are threatened and exposed to thunder and lightening. Good thing is it hasn't been too close, yet. I saw these fo

Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite

Day 57 Friday May 19, 2017 Miles: 546.1 - 556.6 Time: 8:04 - 3:30pm Weather: Hot and Sunny Tenting I woke up to more bites. I am itchy, itchy all over. I need Benadryl! I think Partnership gave me bed bugs. I am the only one afflicted though. Shortcake is fine. We passed the 25% mark today. No horse poop art but someone did make this cleaver piece on the ground. Batman joined us tonight and he was thrilled to hear we saw a baby rattle snake not to far from where we would've tenting. Today was filled with cow sightings as well. We love cows. They are pretty in the pastures and even better in my milkshake or on my plate. Happy Hiking.

Throw Back Thursday

Day 56 Thursday May 18, 2017 Mile: 532.4 - 546.1 Weather: Hot and Sunny Tenting I am just loving all this great weather. What I did not enjoy was waking up to several bites that itch like crazy. Partnership shelter had more than I bargained for. The rhododendrons are finally blooming in mass. We have been walking through these wild gardens since Georgia but haven't seen many flowering. But now they are very showy and it is so pretty. We took a trip back in time, fitting for throw back Thursday. It was an old school house from the 1800's. Inside there was loads of trail magic, fresh fruit, soda, water, chips, candy, and hiking supplies. The building still had the students desks set up, lesson

Just Hanging Around

Day 55 Wednesday May 17, 2017 Miles: 526.2 - 532.4 Time: 7:04 - 10:45am Weather: Hot and Sunny Sheltered at Partnership All those longer than expected days allowed us to have an easy and short stroll into Partnership Shelter. Which just happens to be the nicest one on the trail. It is 100 yards from the Mt. Roger's visitor center. It is a two store log structure complete with a cold shower and even a sink out back. The cold shower was awesome to wash away the accumulated sweat, grim, and feet from the past several days. The visitor had lots more of park info of animals, a small gift shop and real bathrooms. Items we take for granted in our every day life. The best park was their binder full

Hiking Longer Than Planned Again

Day 54 Tuesday May 16, 2017 Time: 7:20am - 6:10pm Hot and Sunny Tented There wasn't a bunch to see today. It was a rocky day but another one with sunshine. I don't care what the Trail bed is like as long as it isn't cold and wet out. Lately it seems we keep having to hike more miles then the plan of the day. Today it was because there were so many hikers. There were three options in the guide book for tenting. Each time we arrived they were all full. So we kept trucking until finally we found one. I need to control my environment. You know the type, high A personality. I have know idea why I keep hiking. Because if there is one thing you can't do out here is control your environment. Weather

Me And My Pony

Day 53 Monday May 15, 2017 Miles: 497.6 - 510.9 Time: 7:27am - 5:29pm Weather: Sunny and Breezy What a fabulous day we had as we explored Grayson Highland. It's a must see for all. This is the busiest place on the Appalachian trail. The main attraction is not the endless hiking trails or the spectacular views. The stars of the show are the feral ponies that reside in the park. They are wild in the sense that no one owns them but they are far from skiddish like most creatures. Several of these guys will come right up to you and are patient while tourist snap endless photos and selfies. We saw over 30 of these guys on our trek through there habit. My favorite was a baby that that to be only a

Happy Mother's Day

Day 52 Sunday May 14, 2017 Mile: 486.1 - 497.6 Weather: sunny, partly cloudy, breezy It was a wonderful night. Just the right cool temps for good sleeping, nice and cold. But the morning was a little chilly when it came time to get out of tent. Not only were we cold but the car remote failed to work also. All long distance hikers know in cool and cold weather you need to sleep with your electronics, when you get up at night to go pee zip up tent to conserve heat, and sleep with your puffy jacket on as an extra layer. The key word is long distance. Batman, my beloved hubby did none of those things and consequently he was cold, he let the heat out of the tent and the remote died. We couldn't g

On The Trail Again

Day 51 Mile: 469.2 - 486.1 Time: 9:40am - 7:50pm Weather: partly cloudy, sunny at times. Nice We left basecamp for what will probably be the last time. We have hiked too far north to have the luxury of returning to zero again. The only reason to drive that far off trail would be not a good reason. North we go back on the trail. Bruce dropped us off at the Dollar General in Damascus where Larry our shuttle driver rescued us from the storm three days earlier. This little hiker town was bustling by the time we arrived at 9:30am. It was there annual community yard sale day and people were out in droves. Bruce left us to drive to the north end while we followed the white blazes through the one st

Still On The Trail

Just taking a snack break. Wanted to let you all know we are still on the trail. Cell service has not been strong enough to do posts.

Triple Zero Is A First For Me

Day 50 Friday May 12, 2017 Zero Miles Hiked At Basecamp This is a first for this long distance hiker. A triple zero set. I have done 2 rest days in a row but never 3 days off from hiking. It was fabulous. But I am ready to hit the trail again to see what kind of gems we can uncover. The other day I forgot to mention how the trail always provides. It is a saying I often use because it's true. May 9th we were hiking along then Shortcake stopped abruptly and retraced a few steps as I just watched curiously as to what she was up to. Then I saw it. A deflated Mylar birthday balloon tied to a tree. The next day was her sister's birthday. So we captured Shortcake's photo holding the birthday greeti

Sharing Is Always A Fun Time

Day 49 Thursday May 11, 2017 Zero Miles Sleeping at basecamp I love zero days. Even better when one zero day is followed by a second zero. It's nice to get off trail and re-energize our bodies and spirits. I did a few more chores of repacking my pack and preparing resupply bags for future drops by Batman. I took another wonderful soak in the tub with Dr. Teal. I also polished my boots. I wonder if I am the only hiker who actually cleans and polishes their footwear every chance I get. I wasn't in the military but I do come from a long history of family members who served and still are. The highlight of the day was FaceTiming with a fabulous group of students from Glenburn Elementary School in

Calorie Loading is Awesome

Day 48 Wednesday May 10, 2017 Zero Miles Hiked Dinner at basecamp for two Today we did nothing except rest, a few errands, and eat. Today was really hot outside and I spent time in the kitchen cooking. It was worth every degree and drop of sweat. We make sure we eat as much as we can. Calorie loading is just awesome. We have each lost 10 pounds so far and we count calories. But not the normal way. Instead of making sure we are under a certain number we focus on just how many calories we can ingest on our days off to help make up for the deficiency while on the trail. KFC buffet For lunch we ate at KFC and had two huge plates each. Then I made the above meal for supper. I also made chocolate

We Should Become Carnivores

Day 47 Tuesday May 9, 2017 Miles: 447.5 - 470.1 7:42am - 6:30pm Weather: Rain to cloudy and humid then rain. Made it to Damascus, VA Sleeping at basecamp The rain pitter-pattered all night upon our tent. It was a soothing and comforting sound that helped lull me back to sleep each time I woke from discomfort. It stopped just in time for us to get up. Thank goodness because I despise packing up in the rain. It's one thing to have a wet tent to stuff away. It's a totally different task to do it while it's raining. Our luck was short lived. We had everything packed except the tent and were just about to enjoy our trail breakfast of smushed and crumbled snack bars when the pitter-pattered starte

Snake, Toad, and 2 Deer

Day 46 Tuesday May 8, 2017 Mile: 431.4 - 447.5 8:40m - 6:30pm Weather: sunny, breeze, and cool I didn't want to leave the cabins. I really just wanted to stay there. I kept thinking of every way possible to justify another night. But we hiked on. Today was 16 miles of ridge walking. We finally left the view of Watauga lake. After that it wasn't too interesting but we did see another snake. The second one Shortcake almost stepped on. Glad it wasn't poisonous. We also saw a fat toad and 2 deer. We are amazed at the lack of wildlife we see out here. We are surrounded by more mountains and wilderness but at times they seem sterile of any life except us hikers. It's a little disappointing. Tonigh

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