The Sun Came Back Out Again
After three weeks of really bad weather and a very bad mood because of all the rain, the sun finally made its way! It’s so much more fun to hike in good weather conditions than in shitty weather. Also, my stuff is dry! I definitely prefer that over having all wet stuff ?
Quite some miles before Daleville, the last town I stayed at, I met a guy called Rhyme Time. A 26 year old guy from New York (the state, not the city). For the last two weeks we are hiking together and I really enjoy it. In the morning until noon he’s definitely pushing me. He starts his days really fast. After having lunch I normally push him until we setup camp.
We planned our stretch from Daleville to Waynesboro (about 130 miles/200km) with a food resupply in Buena Vista right in between. There were some pretty high climbs to do in between that’s why we started quite early every morning. I’m getting up at about 5:30 consistently without any alarm. As we are pretty lazy in the morning we start hiking at about 7:30. Nevertheless we did our goal of over 20 miles each day. We definitely enjoyed some amazing views on the stretch to Waynesboro.
For doing our food resupply in Buena Vista we had to hitch into town. No way we would walk 16 miles into town. Because there were not that many cars driving on the road we crossed it took us over half an hour to get a ride into town. First I went to the post office. I ordered a new sleeping bag for the summer time about two weeks ago. I already had to forward it in Daleville, because we were too fast. This time we were also too fast and I had to forward it once more. What a bummer! Next, we searched for some good food in town. We found an Italian restaurant and went in. The pizza was amazing. The waitress told us about the cheese cake as a dessert. That cheese cake was without a doubt the best cheese cake I ever had in my life!!! After our food resupply we went straight out of town back to the trail and did about 6 miles to camp.
The stretch to Waynesboro should take us about three more days. As we took a break the next morning at an upcoming shelter we saw one more of these black snakes. I can’t remember the name of the snake, but at least it wasn’t a poisonous one. That snake literally climbed into the shelter while we stayed there. So, no way for me that I sleep in a shelter ever again ?
At the same day I had the best camp spot on the entire Appalachian Trail so far. Accidentally we read a comment of a viewpoint where there’s supposed to be a camp spot. We filled up all our water bottles and bladders about 4 miles before. We went down a little side trail to the viewpoint and then we saw it! This was simply amazing. There was a huge rock with a fantastic view down to the valleys and we could set up our tents just besides the rock. We set our alarms for the next morning to enjoy the sunrise up there. It was definitely worth getting up that early. We only had 6 miles left into town for doing another day of resting our feet.
As we came into town we did a lot of research. We heard about aqua-blazing the Shenandoah National Park. This basically means canoeing on the Shenandoah River instead of hiking through. This would have so many advantages. We would be able to carry a lot of good food and beer. As we do not need to walk it would be a perfect rest for our feet. We did some phone calls with different boat renting companies. All of them told us the same. Because of the massive rain the last few weeks the water level on the river is supposed to be way to high and they don’t let any boats out. One guy told us to call him again the next day. Maybe we would be able to do it. We really hoped for it! And things went out good. The next day the guy told us that we would be good to go.
This means the next 150 miles (should take us four to five days) we are in a canoe paddling on the river instead of hiking. I’m really looking forward to that!!