Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Helveys Mill Shelter to Wapiti Shelter

Monday, 5/4

AT Miles = 24.0 / 609.3
Other Miles = 0.5 / 24.7
Total Miles = 24.5 / 634.0

It rained again last night. It was still raining when I got up at 6:30. Well, it's not the end of the world. I guess I'm getting used to being damp. I can't even pretend anything I own is actually dry anymore, there are just varying degrees of wet.

But all was not lost. I caught some good radio last night. The local NPR station plays Swing music from 8:00 - 9:00, then some really good jazz from 9:00 to 11:00.

But back to this morning. I got up and pulled on my rain jacket, then walked out and got my wet food bag down out of the tree where it hung overnight. I cooked breakfast in the rain, packed up my gear, and started hiking.

I made an executive decision and decided that I am going to get to Pearisburg tomorrow rather than on Wednesday. In order to pull that off I need to walk about 40 miles in two days, so I walked 24 miles today and will attempt the other 16.5 tomorrow. I've never hiked 24 miles before, and my feet are complaining big time. I've also raised a blister on the little toe of my left foot. I hope I didn't sabotage myself and make myself incapable of hiking the miles tomorrow. I am really looking forward to being clean and dry and sleeping in a bed that isn't damp and smelly.

I am camped tonight at a nice little shelter with three section hikers. Section hikers tend to have amuch wider repertoire of conversation than thru-hikers do, who tend to talk about food whenever they aren't telling fart jokes, so I am enjoying the evening immensely. We've got a fire going and there is a real chill in the air tonight so that is very welcome.

Four more thrus just showed up, so the evening promises to get even more interesting.

I think this is going to be an ibuprofen night, only the second of the hike. It should help ease the ache of my feet and hopefully they will heal up a lot overnight.

Sorry, I know this has been a bit incoherent. I am really tired tonight and finding it hard to organize my thoughts. You'll hear more from me once I get settled in Pearisburg, hopefully tomorrow night. I am planning to take a zero day (or maybe even two) there. I should have a bunch of maikl waiting at the post office, and will be switching out all my cold weather gear for the summer gear Jodi has sent to me.

Allen Freeman


Anonymous said...

Well Allen, I guess you know you don't want to come back as a duck! Thats a lot of rain to contend with. Makes that brief shower you two rode through during last years bike ride seem puny.
Anyhow, its bound to get more springlike soon, warm sunny days. And before you know it, you'll be in Jersey contending with our state bird, mosquitoes.
Looking forward to meeting you at the Delaware Water Gap or thereabouts. Paul F.

Tom Reingold said...

Funny you should say you feel it's incoherent. I find it more lively than other entries, maybe because you're less inhibited, with your pain and disgust at being wet all the time.

We're having the same weather here, with no end in sight. Most of the country is having rotating storm systems with lots of rain.

I really enjoyed your day-in-the-life photo essay. I'd like to know how and when you meet people and how and when you part. When do you decide to hike together, eat together?

Allen Freeman said...

MMeeting people: Typically I meet other hikers at the shelters. I often stop at a shelter in the middle of the day to eat lunch, and sometimes there will be other hikers there doing the same. And at night there is almost always other hikers at a shelter. I don't sleep in the shelters since I use my hammock, but shelters are always near a water source, they usually have a privy, and they often have a table which is great for cooking and eating.

Actually I almost never hike with anyone else. Even when I was sort of traveling with Sir Richard and Cuppa Joe and PaulMan (his new trail name), we rarely hiked together but rather just ended up at the same places for lunch and camping.