From the Continental Divide to the Shenandoahs.
As I had previously written I have made it over the continental divide. It was a very long, hot day, with rain late in the evening. I had come to the continental divide at 7:30 p.m. I was still over two miles away from the Niday Shelter. As it got darker I turned on my headlamp. Unfortunately, the batteries only lasted about 15 minutes. At that point I had to turn to the cell phone and the flashlight feature. Not exactly how I wanted to walk the last two miles but eventually a very tired, sweaty me made it to the shelter.
The next morning Savage, Poe, Half Moon, Tiger Lilly, Capt. Ahab, and I went down to the parking lot to catch a slack pack into the Four Pines Hostel.
The Four Pines was a decent hostel as far as the overall vibe of the place. However, the overall cleanliness of the place needed some help. The owners, though, were extremely friendly and helpful.
The dinner at the Home Place Restaurant is something certainly not to be missed.
All you can eat roast beef, fried chicken, country ham, potatoes, corn, green beans, biscuits, etc. With homemade lemonade, and sweet tea. All for $15.
Four Pines to Daleville
We all left Four Pines headed for McAfee Knob so that we could take our iconic pictures. We hung out and had lunch for at least three hours before we packed everything up and headed to Tinker Cliffs ,where we watched the most beautiful sunset. We then camped at the cliffs that night.
While at Four Pines I got a ride to Daleville. I had replaced my Hokas with a pair of Oboz hiking shoes at the outfitters. So for the two-day hike back into Daleville with my brand new Oboz my feet developed new blisters and other issues. I was hiking with both Half Moon and Savage, who at one point during a stop looked at my shoes and determined they were women’s shoes that the guy at the outfitters fit me with. Now mind you, they did not look like women’s shoes at all. I had signal on my phone so while sitting there I called the store. I spoke with the manager there and described all the markings, color, etc. with her. “Oohh yeah, that’s the women’s version,” she said. So I was only about five miles from town at that point, but my feet were in agony. Around three miles from town I had to take off the shoes and walked the last couple of miles in my Crocs, which didn’t make things any better. But I promptly went straight to the outfitters to exchange the Oboz for a pair of Vasque boots in the correct men’s size.
To the VA for Not Great News
While in Daleville I took a zero because my right knee has been in extreme pain and is swollen. I had an opportunity to get to the local VA medical center to have them looked at. After my X-rays the PA came in to tell me exactly what I expected. A new torn meniscus. I knew it before but he confirmed it. This is why my knee has been in such pain and has been locking on me. Even while walking. After waiting for an additional three hours I finally left with a very small Toradal prescription. Total time at the VA today was six hours. Way too long if you ask me. Something needs to be done about veterans health care in this country.
Off to Glasgow
I left Daleville and hiked to Wilson Creek Shelter. This shelter was fine and a nice place to stop along the way. The next morning, however, while trying to get to the privy for the morning ritual a copperhead was sitting right in front of the privy door.
I think I will go elsewhere and dig my cat hole this morning. So anyway, I made it to the sprawling metropolis that is Glasgow. It is a town with a Dollar General, post office, a restaurant, a gas station, and a very small anything else you need store. Lastly, a brontosaurus in the middle of it all.
The climb out of Glasgow was no picnic as it was 92 degrees with high humidity, and no water for about 11 or 12 miles. While on the trek to Waynesboro I eventually got to stop at Devils Backbone Brewing Company, where I met up again with Savage, Poe, and Half Moon. We had some great food, good company, conversation, and the next morning did a slack pack into Waynesboro. While in Waynesboro I took a couple of zeros at Stanimal’s hostel and did it work for stay by hanging some trim in a rental owned by Stanimal.
After leaving Stanimal’s I entered the Shenandoahs. The very first night I stayed Pine Field Shelter where I found Dirty Girl and Valkyrie, two people that I had not seen since Erwin, Tenn. It was very nice to see them and we caught up on where we had been over the last month or so. The next day we all hiked to the Lewis Mountain Campground. We then walk down to one of the famous Shenandoah waysides where we enjoyed a hamburger, french fries, onion rings, blackberry shakes, and blackberry cobbler a la mode.
The next morning, after looking at the map of the campground and finding where the AT was in relation to our campsite, I went off in that direction while Dirty Girl and Valkyrie used the facilities before they left. Once I got to the trail I went in the direction that I thought I should go. After about half to three-quarters of a mile I met a section hiker who said he was going northbound. This caused me to take pause and reevaluate where I was. I took out my phone and Guthooks app, only to find that I had been traveling in the wrong direction. So, after hiking a total of just over 15 miles, I made it to Byrds Nest Number 3 Shelter, where I met up again with Dirty Girl and Valkyrie for the evening. This campsite, however, also had mom, dad, uncle, and a couple of two- and four-year-old children that were not the quietest kids in the world, something that thru-hikers are not quite used to. While eating dinner that night we met with Wheat, who offered his home for a free stay, and transportation back to the trail. A win for all indeed.
Wheat’s home was very nice, we took showers, and did laundry. And had great conversation about the trail. Tomorrow we will head out back to the trail and should be in Harpers Ferry next week. I triumph for sure as we get ready to finally get to leave Virginia.
Rick James Nobody 2018.
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