Daleville and 1500 Miles of Brand New Trail
Here I am at the HoJo in Daleville, typing at the very same computer I used to buy my bus ticket home in 2011. I have a lot of feelings about this. First of all, Virginia destroyed my feet same way it did in 2011 over the past 2 weeks. Thanks a lot Ginnie, you spiteful wench. But this time, that won’t take me off the Trail! Instead, I am excited to be pushing on today into completely uncharted territory for me, which is even giving me a bout of anxiety. Mostly, I’m pumped.
Here are some pictures and summaries of what’s gone on over the past few hundred miles.
Quiet Diet and I passed the Tennessee/Virginia border right before Trail Days, a hiker festival in the so-called Friendliest Town on the Trail, Damascus, Virginia.
Trail Days was kinda crazy, but we got back on the wagon by volunteering for Hardcore. Hardcore is a couple of days of Trail Maintenance organized by Bob Peoples. It was hard work, but it was a blast. About 100 hikers and crew leaders got about a mile of Trail rebuilt in, oh, I dunno, 15 hours of work. We’re used to moving slowly. It has also made me more aware of what goes into Trail building, and appreciative every time I see some nice stone stairs on a steep slope.
Virginia has offered some beautiful grassy meadows, babbling brooks, views from ridgelines, and we’ve been fortunate to have mostly great weather. A couple of days ago we hit McAfee Knob, the most photographed location on the Appalachian Trail. Really amazing place, and just 4 miles after I got off the Trail in 2011! What was I thinking!?
My boots, which I blogged about loving in the rain, have since given me truly insane sub-callous blisters. For almost 100 miles, just like back in 2011, I have been hiking in flip flops. Today, I found a pair of worn shoes in the hiker box here, but I am once again at a loss for words. And footwear. The rest I needed due to these foot problems lead to spending extra money while in town and I can’t afford to try more footwear that is going to fail me. One would think after 4,000 miles, I would have a general sense of what kind of footwear would work for me, but alas. Flip flops seem to be the ticket. I have a friend here who seems to be pretty happy in his Crocs. More to come on that.
Friends, my computer time is up! Hikers are a’waiting. Wish me luck embarking on this brand spankin’ new Trail!
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