Friday, May 08, 2009

Holy Family Hostel to Rice Field Shelter

Friday, 5/8

AT Miles = 6.8 / 632.7
Other Miles = 1.5 / 28.7
Total Miles = 8.3 / 661.4

As usual, it rained last night. It didn't matter, though, as I was sleeping on a mattress in the loft of the hostel at Holy Family Church in Pearisburg. By the time I left there this morning the rain had stopped and it was only overcast.

I met a hiker at the hostel with the trail name Western. Do you remember me writing about the morning after I camped at the pond, walking two miles to the shelter at Chestnut Knob planning to cook breakfast there, and the hiker I met there who ignored me when I said good morning? Well, I am 98% sure that hiker was Western, and he wasn't really ignoring me. Western is deaf so he never heard me.

Western does crazy things like hike 30 or 35 mile days. He is hiking the International Appalachian Trail (IAT), which means that when he gets to Katahdin he is nowhere near done. The IAT continues up into Canada and ends on the Gaspe Peninsula (OI think).

But back to me. That's what this blog is all about, after all. I left the hostel and walked back inbto downtown to get breakfast at Marsha's. I was lucky enough to meet a section hiker named Thistle there, and after breakfast he and his wife gave me a ride to the post office and then on to where I got off the trail on Tuesday afternoon. That saved me about a mile of road walking.

I only walked a few miles today. I wasn't feeling all that great after eating that big breakfast, and hauling the Food Bag From Hell (TM) up the steep hill out of town was tough work. When I got here to Rice Field Shelter I discovered something I haven't seen in a long time; a view! So I ate my lunch, enjoyed the view, then decided to hang my hammock and kick back and read my book for the afternoon.

I've finished dinner now and the sky is looking like it is getting ready to rain again tonight. If it's still raining in the morning I will be glad that I didn't go on and camp somewhere tonight, as it will be good to have ther shelter to cook and eat breakfast in out of the rain.

There is going to be a big hiker feed about 35 miles up the trail, on boith Sunday and Monday. I hope to be able to take advantage of that on Monday.

From where we are now I can hear the trains running along the tracks through the narrows along the New River. There's something magical about the sound of a train whistle.

I'll get back to making decent miles tomorrow, but I am going to try to hold my mileage down a bit for the next few days and see how my feet do. I still feel some hot spots on my left foot and I don't want it blowing up on me. There is a competitive side of me that finds it hard to hold back and let all the kids go on ahead. They make it look so easy!

Allen Freeman

1 comment:

Anju Freeman said...

hey dad,

it's a good thing you know sign language in case you run into that hiker western again. you never know.

Love, your daughter Anju