Monday, April 6, 2009

Days 1-6 - Ponies and Snow

Larry will fill us in on more details later via his trail journal but here is the rough itinerary Alli and I have pieced together based on his photos and their timestamps.
  • Day 1 - Hiked from Damascus to Saunder's Shelter, a 9.4 mile hike mostly uphill.
  • Day 2 - Hiked from Saunder's Shelter to campsite at VA 601, an 8.8 mile hike.
  • Day 3 - Hiked from VA 601 to Thomas Knob Shelter, a 9.8 mile hike over Whitetop Mountain.
  • Day 4 - Hiked from Thomas Knob Shelter to Old Orchard Shelter, an 11.0 mile hike.
  • Journal Entry Day 4: Tenting at the Old Orchard Shelter. What a difference a day makes. This morning I awaken to 25 deg., very gusty winds and hoarfrost. Hike today was windy but it warmed up to 60 deg. Plan on making it Troutdale, VA tomorrow and then take a down day. My box is there at Jerry's Kitchen and Goods. Left it there on the way to Damascus on Weds. Tonight there are calm winds with a temperature on about 45 deg. I don't think it will freeze tonight. Body and mind feeling pretty well. Miles today - 11.0
  • Day 5 - Hiked from Old Orchard Shelter to Baptist Hostel in Troutdale, VA. I hiked 10.0 miles on the AT and 2.6 miles into town for a total of 112.6 miles.
  • Journal Entry Day 5: Made it to Troutdale at about 4:30 pm. Staying at the Troutdale Baptist Hostel in the bunkhouse. Duece is the only other hiker here and he is staying in the other part of the bunkhouse so we have individual rooms. Each room has heat, electrical outlets and lights. It would be nicer if I hadn't forgotten my telephone charger, but there is no cell phone reception in this town anyway. It only got down to 45 deg. last night at the shelter and made for pleasant sleeping. Today it warmed up to 75 deg. so I drank much more water. When I arrived at Jerry's Kitchen and Goods I pick up my box and he gave Deuce and I a ride up the hill to the hostel. Tomorrow I am taking a down day. I feel pretty good except for a couple blisters and they are healing. By tomorrow evening it is suppose to be snowing. Big temperature change. Today's walk was 10.2 miles on the AT and 2.6 miles into town for a total of 12.6 miles
  • Day 6 & 7 - Zero day in Troutdale, VA due to bad weather....SNOW!!! Only 2128.3 miles to go :)
  • Day 6 Journal Entry: I spent the day at the hostel and at Jerry's . Had scrambled eggs, OJ, biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Bacon cheeseburger, Dr. Pepper and garden salad for lunch. Dinner was shrimp with tomatoes on pasta and tossed salad. Today was wash day with no laundromat in town so I washed my clothes in a 50 qt. Rubbermaid tub that Jerry loaned me. It took 5 full rinses to get the water to run clean, but the clothes looked good after that. I spent over an hour on the internet. Burns, the hiker that is spending the night here tonight, showed me how to download pictures from my camera and email them as attachments and insert them in my blog. Hopefully by tomorrow night between me and my support staff my blog will be updated with pictures and words. Temperature fell throughout the day and it started snowing in the late afternoon. So far it has accumulated lightly on the grass. Suppose to snow tomorrow so I am taking another down day. Blisters are healing and I feel good.
  • Day 7 Journal Entry: Sitting in Jerry's and I just finished some delicious homemade chicken and dumplings. It snowed throughout the night and accumulated about 1 inch of snow in the grassy areas. Temperature is just above freezing and we are having snow squalls. It is suppose to get into the 50's tomorrow so I plan on hitting the trail in the morning. Hopefully I can reach Atkins, VA in 2 days and Bland, VA in 6 days. It may take 7 days , but hey, I am retired. Blisters are healing and I feel pretty good. Of course I am not to hot or to cold or climbing up a mountain with a pack. Internet is now available so I will sign off. P.S. Jerry has Dr. Pepper in old fashioned 12 oz. glass bottles that is made with real sugar. Yumm. Caveman came down off the trail and is taking a down day tomorrow. He hiked over 15 miles today and said the trail was no fun. He said there are numerous drifts of snow and that you often break through the snow into the water on the underlying trail. Probably will take another down day tomorrow.
Here are some photos from the first six days on the trail:

Day 1 - Saunder's Shelter

Day 2 - Bridge that is both on the AT and the Virginia Creeper Trail

Day 3 - Thomas Knob Shelter

Day 4 - Ponies in Grayson Highlands State Park

Day 5 - Waterfall near Dickey Gap

Day 6 - Snow at Baptist Hostel in Troutdale, VA

1 comment:

  1. Awesome way to start the first week! Go Larry Go!