Friday, May 13, 2011
Thru hikers gather at 3 lil pigs BBQ in Dalesville.
Back row: Dreamwalker, Rocket, Spaceman
Front: me, Helm, Porter, Clutch, Glad Gal
Yah! I've been hiking around 23 miles a day, lately with two middle aged guys named Pace and Porter. Pace turned 40 on the trail, and we celebrated with wine and popcorn in the nicest shelter I've seen so far with a huge porch. At Partnership Shelter, Pace and Porter ordered about 8 pizzas and shared with everyone. Partnership Shelter is the only shelter that you can get pizza delivered to! I hiked through Grayson Highlands and got to pet one of the wild ponies. Most of the hikers are men, either fresh out of college (like me) or retired (which means quite a few old people hiking!). Many people hikes with dogs as well, and the dogs have their own backpacks so they carry their own food. I've switched to a summer sleeping bag (my old one was rated to 20 degrees, my new one is rated to 40). It's been a little cold at night, but nothing unbearable. I'm in Dalesville, VA right now, heading back to Damascus this weekend for Trail Days (biggest hiker festival along the trail). We've had some great trail magic- from rides into towns for lunch, apples and oranges, beer, free dinners, etc. I stopped at an Amish grocery store and treated myself with homemade ice cream and whoopie pies. We hit MacAfee Knob (the most photographed place on the trail), saw the 2nd biggest oak tree on the AT, and climbed up Dragon's Tooth. I haven't seen a bear yet, but have seen lots of deer, two big black snakes, woodpeckers, lizards, frogs, and turtles. The flowers are beautiful- lillies of the valley, lady slippers, azaelas, etc. I'll post pictures soon!