Day 47, 6/14/23
Rice Field Shelter to Big Stony Creek Rd, VA 635
14.9 miles, mile 659.1
I certainly don’t think I will be camping in an open field on top of a ridge again. The wind was whipping all night long and I didn’t get much sleep. One of the stakes flew up around 4:00 a.m. and I didn’t enjoy scurrying to put it back in before the whole tent blew away. Kev and I got up at 6:00 a.m. because we wanted to get the 14.9 done quick so we could see Dad and get to the rental house to shower. We got to the road around 12:30 p.m. and Dad arrived shortly after. While we waited, I talked with another hiker named Hammer’s parents (it was great to meet you guys!). Mom made some delicious whoopie pies and other baked goods – I ate way too many in the car, and more at the house. The hiking today was very uneventful, we did see a deer but that’s becoming a daily trend. My left trekking pole ended up snapping within the last two miles, so we went to Roanoke and I upgraded my cheap Amazon poles to a pair of Leki’s. Hopefully these ones won’t snap on me! When we got to the house, I took a very long shower and got the laundry put in. Dad grilled up some fillets and oh my goodness it was amazing. This dinner was certainly a step up from my instant mashed potatoes that I’ve been having every night. I had to follow it up with dessert and made Kev and I orange soda floats. They hit the spot. I’m beyond grateful to have a bed tonight out of the wind, and to be able to slack pack tomorrow! I have the most supportive parents.
Day 48, 6/15/23
Big Stony Creek Rd, VA 635 to VA Route 630
19.4 miles, mile 678.5
It is so amazing to have an actual breakfast and a cup of good coffee before hiking. I was so excited to eat it I forgot to take a photo, so enjoy my half-eaten breakfast pictured below :). We booked it today! I feel like I can fly when I’m slack packing. I had my watch running because I knew I could charge it before we are back on the trail, and our average moving speed was 3.4 mph and the day had 4,500 feet of vertical gain. We did jog a bit on the downhills though. About 13 miles in there was some trail magic! I drank a Dr. Pepper, got to sit down in an actual chair, and pet an adorable pup. Dad was waiting for us when we got down to the road and I got to come back to a shower and delicious salmon dinner with risotto, asparagus, and wine. I will most definitely be making another float for dessert, and probably have some cookies too. Tomorrow we are taking a zero to hang out with Dad and will probably head into Roanoke to explore a little bit.
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