Weeks 19 & 20: Moving Right Along (We’re Fast and Fancy Free)
Well, five months on the Trail!
Wow. I honestly didn’t think I’d make it this far.
Virginia has been an interesting experience. I certainly understand where the “Virginia blues” many hikers talk about comes from, at times the Trail takes on an almost monotonous character, with miles and miles of nothing but green tunnel, and the few views you find almost all look the same.
But I’ve been refinding my love of the Trail too. I’ll have days in a stretch of little to no human contact, which for someone like me who has a wonderful combination of little internal patience coupled with near constant mild social anxiety, it’s actually rather relieving. I cruise through the day listening to my Audible collection or simply enjoying the sounds of the cicadas. I spend my evenings lazing through Nerdist podcast episodes or stand up albums. And all the while, still enjoying the freedom of schedule and clear sense of purpose that comes from each morning waking up and heading north.
There’s been bad days as well. I had several days straight of soaking rain, with my shoes and socks soaked through, and my shirt and underwear never really getting dry. Add in the fact that the few days of sunshine I’ve gotten have been blistering hot and I’ve certainly missed the air conditioned comfort of home.
Another bright spot has been people. I think it’s because I’ve had those several days of solitude that I find myself enjoying all the more when I do come across another hiker. I’ve spent some great time chatting with Violet (a fellow App Trials blogger!) and Hops before they flip flopped North, then spent a few days meeting Lost&Found, Fire, and their dog Farley.
I also had a chance encounter with a local section hiker named Sharkey. We actually met when he stopped me on a hideously hot day along the Blue Ridge Parkway to ask if I had any spare salt, as he was getting killed by sweat. I had a few extra Propel electrolyte packets and hooked him up. In return he asked me to look him up when I got to Waynesboro. Unfortunately, when I got to town, I had no cell signal but he ended up running into me as I walked across town anyways! He invited me to stay with him on his egg farm, (check them out at artisanegg.com for some of the most beautiful and delicious eggs I’ve ever tried!) where I enjoyed a few days off with shower, laundry, and air conditioning, which was heavenly.
I’m looking forward to the Shenandoah National Park this week, and finishing Virginia on some high notes!
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.