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.

I thought I'd never kidnapped by wood elves by now

I thought I’d be kidnapped by wood elves by now

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.

Ho hum. Another mountain top view. How pedestrian (pun!)

Ho hum. Another mountain top view. How pedestrian (humorous wordplay!)

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.

Though I now imagine the moon speaking with Chris Hardwick's voice, which is awkward

Though I now imagine the moon speaking with Chris Hardwick’s voice, which is awkward

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.

I'm not going to show you a picture of my pruney feet, but I'll show you these fungi and let you imagine a similar texture and smell

I’m not going to show you a picture of my pruney feet, but I’ll show you these fungi and let you imagine a similar texture and smell

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.

Farley considers herself a lapdog

Farley considers herself a lapdog

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.

Though staying at a chicken farm has its odd moments

Though staying at a chicken farm has its odd moments

I’m looking forward to the Shenandoah National Park this week, and finishing Virginia on some high notes!

Cue "On the Road Again" by Fozzie the Bear and Kermit the Frog

Cue “On the Road Again” by Fozzie the Bear and Kermit the Frog

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Comments 2

  • WannaBeThruHiker : Aug 17th

    Glad to see you are still hiking. I’ve been following you for awhile on this site and find your story inspiring. Hope you decide to flip-flop so you can finish this year.

    Reply
  • Notebook : Aug 18th

    You definitely are an inspiration! Great writing, too!

    Reply

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