Day 59: Montebello, VA to Maupin Field

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How's it going?
It was so nice to sleep in a bed with sheet and a pillow last night that I must have been dreaming pretty intensely. Well it just so happened that my bed wasn't quite so centered on it's base and in the middle of the night me and the entire matress flipped off onto the floor! I woke up literally as I was in the air and then crash!!  Fortunately I didn't wake anyone else... I guess maybe the most dangerous part of the trail is being off the trail!

So obviously yesterday wasn't a fun hiking day so when I awoke to the sun shining, I started thinking about changing my plan. (which was stay for free lunch and then hit the trail... Hike a short mileage day and arrive Friday morning at the next town.)

After delicious breakfast and some jamming on the piano (I really miss playing constantly) I decide to hit the trail early and hope to avoid the predicted thunderstorms.  So we shuttle back up to the gate and I start hiking the 1 mi back up the mtn to the trail. This really turns out to be the right decision.  I'm sure I could use the extra calories from lunch (latest count is I'm down 12 lbs) but hiking in the morning is so much easier and hiking under blue skies is pretty appealing too!

Today's mtns included the Priest which dominates the local area at around 4000 ft and there is a shelter up top. Tradition is that you write some sort of confession in the shelter registry! My "confession" entry was the following: "forgive me father for I have sinned and will
continue to do so: whenever there is a trashcan in sight of the trail
I rummage through it and sometimes I eat what I find."

This wasn't a lie, we hikers have definitely been known to do this. You never know what some picnicing family may have tossed out!  After the Priest is a long descent down to the Tyre River and about this time you can start to hear the rumbles in the distance. I book it to the next shelter and arrive literally 5 min before the deluge begins. Lots of rain, thunder and lightning rage overhead and I happily hunker down enjoying watching the rain from a dry vantage point. Others were not as lucky with their timing and rolled in during the rain.  I arrived at 2:30 and the storm quit about 4:30, then as the sun was trying to peak through, packed up and headed up the "Three Ridges" a 2000 ft climb. Besides pushing through wet plants along the trail, I manage to stay dry and get some stunning views from the top.  Interesting weather and cloud formations really make for beautiful views.

I arrive at the shelter at dusk and just as more rain is rolling in!  Sometimes you just get lucky and today my timing was impeccable. I managed to stay totally dry which is such a key to happiness when hiking.

Tomorrow will be a big day towards Waynesboro, gateway to Shenandoah National Park. Incidentally the "state song" I've had in my head through Virginia has been "oh Shenandoah" it won't be long until I actually "see you" instead of just longing to.  In Georgia it was "Georgia on My Mind", in Tennessee it was "Rocky Top" and Carolina it was "Carolina in my mind" ( I think that is the name)  Anyway I need suggestions for future states, maybe you can think of some good ones for West Virginia... Nothing is coming to mind!

So today I fell for the first time (outside of the snow days in the Smokies) and it was pretty epic. Just clipped a root and then tried to balance with a trekking pole and when that didn't catch ended up with my face and hands in the dirt and pack smashing me down...fortunately after a quick once over, nothing was broken or damaged (myself included)

My trekking poles didn't catch because the tips on both poles have broken off in the last week. Now they just have little plastic nubs that are being worn away and aren't very grippy. I'm hoping that leki will stand behind their product though and fix me up when I get to the next outfitter.

Well that's about it from the woods, what's new in the city? Does anybody have any questions that they want to ask? I'm just dying to answer them :)
Hope all is well.
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Raymond Myers on

Well, it seems John Denver's "Country Road" should be good for West Virginia? Rain Man

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