Days 45 to 64: Spicing Things Up
Marion to Waynesboro (mile 861.4)
I realize it’s been a long time since I last blogged. These past few weeks have been a bit of a blur. Our milage is now consistently between 18 and 20+ mile days. Anything lower is basically a Nero and we usually are resupplying. My biggest day is now 25.2 miles!
At first this change in pace really stressed me out. I was trying to get used to Stan being gone (the new group dynamic) and the long days were starting to wear me down. I definitely started to feel discouraged. I got so used to taking a solid break once a week. I have been very surprised by how rejuvenated I felt every time we went to a hostel after a long day or resupplied in the middle of our bigger mile days! My favourite was Pearisburg. We went to a McDonalds so Pen-Dexter could use the wifi restore his phone and ended up spending 4 hours there eating a disgusting amount of food.
I like to have control over the plan and am not very good with unexpected change. Which are two things I have very little control over out here. Plans change, things happen. That is an inevitable fact of life. Being out here has really taught me to calm down over unexpected changes because basically all of these changes have led to amazing memories.
Last week this really stuck out in my mind. I was feeling really tired and worried about upcoming miles we had planned. I wanted to pull ahead for a couple of days and take a zero in Waynesboro while Pen-Dexter and Toast caught up. Instead, I was swayed into doing a small resupply in Buena Vista with the promise of laundry! So Bolt, Toast, Pen-Dexter and I went to Buena Vista, VA. Our plan was to do ~17 miles in total that day. Bolt and I waited with the laundry while the others went off to shop. Which was exactly what I needed – a relaxing morning with friends. Getting to spend time with people is one of my favourite parts of this adventure. After enjoying the BEST meal I have had so far (I have been dreaming about a burger and milkshake since Damascus!!) we hit the trail around 2pm with 15 miles to go. After 6 miles Toast convinced me to go with her to a hostel where she had to pick up a package. And shower (I’ve realized I there is very little I won’t do for a shower or a milkshake). We made it back to the trail ~7:30 and realized we would be night hiking since we had another ~7 miles to go, which I was not thrilled about. It was then Toast jokingly came up with the idea of hiking to the Priest (another 7 miles from our planned shelter). SO WE HIKED TO THE PRIEST! It was so fun! We listened to some awesome jams, saw an amazing orange moonrise, rolled into camp at 2AM and could not contain our laughter. We joked about how that adventure was exactly what we needed to “spice up our hike”. Breaking plans and being spontaneous is becoming something I love the most out here.
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You’re one very blessed girl! Sounds like a great adventure . I hope I’ll be out there , one fine day
Best to you