Lost in Virginia
This post is extremely embarrassing to write, but this short story has to be told….
First off, I’m a pretty cocky hiker. I used to take pride in the fact that I was so fast, no one could pass me. I’ve changed since then and now just about everyone passes me. I’ve learned to take it slow, breathe, and check things out.
Secondly, I used to be a walking book of Appalachian Trail data. I’ve hiked all 3 of the southern states before, so I knew every mountain, road crossing, and town near by. Once I stepped foot off of McAfee Knob and headed north, I suddenly became lost. Upon until now, McAfee Knob was the farthest north I have hiked…. now I know nothing and have to put all of my trust into good ole AWOL… ahem…
So, we were drenched on our way up to McAfee Knob. We wanted to hang out up there all day on a gorgeous day, not a wet and foggy one. Hooter and I had a friend meeting us there that we met on a section hike last year, so we did hang out for a few hours….. in the rain. It stopped raining just long enough for us to make a few infamous poses.
After hanging out, we finally decided to make our way towards Tinker Cliffs. It was still raining and crazy foggy. I got pretty far ahead of Hooter and Dur-pa-dur and suddenly began to get into the zone while listening to some tunes. The area was beautiful with huge boulders and rock formations.
Suddenly, I saw cliffs above me… and no white blazes… I started laughing to myself because I knew it was Tinker Cliffs that I was looking at above me. I missed a turn somewhere because I was so zoned out in the rain. I was on an actual trail and saw fresh footprints, so I decided to just go with it…. until I got hit by a rock… wtf? I look up and see Dur-pa-dur and Hooter on the cliffs above me. They kicked a rock at me without knowing it. I screamed at them. They couldn’t figure out what in the hell I was doing down there. Of course, on my first day of unknown territory, I would be the one who takes a wrong turn. It was very ironic… after conversing with my hiking partners above me, I just decided to back track the mile and meet up with them at the next shelter. I caught up to them before they got to the next shelter and it was still pouring rain, so we set up camp just past the shelter.
Finally, the rain lifted the next morning, and we finally hiked out of camp and walked along a ridgeline with some gorgeous views.
- Don’t be a cocky hiker
- Don’t get too far from your friends when it is rainy and the trail has some tricky turns
- Don’t zone out while it’s raining
- Don’t ever get too comfortable, because at some point, you won’t know where you are at anymore
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