Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 50- Attack Of The Smokies

May 21, 2015
Wood's Hole Hostel(623.8) to Pearisburg, VA(634.5) 10.7 miles

It seems like every time we have made a plan this last week it falls apart shortly after. As I said yesterday, we planned to stop briefly in Pearisburg to resupply and then hike on, obviously that did not happen. I was awakened early this morning to the sound of rain on the tin roof of the hostel. To make matters worse the temperature had dropped as well. I got up around 6:00 and was ready to go by 6:30. Neville was too busy last night to accept payment for my stay at the hostel and I had to wait for her this morning to square up. I didn't get back on the trail until almost 8:00 and by then the weather had not improved. 

I set out in a light drizzle with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees.  I felt like I was back in the Smokies. I spent the next 10 miles walking in a cloud with the rain alternating between a downpour and a steady drizzle. There were several viewpoints this morning from the Pearisburg Cliffs, unfortunately this also looked like the Smokies. 
Pearis Ledges
Pearis Ledges on a nice day(Guthook app photo)

Usually I stop and take a five to ten minute break every two hours, but today I walked nonstop until I made it to town. The most frustrating thing about the weather was I just did laundry yesterday. I was squeaky clean first thing this morning. After 30 minutes, I was a muddy mess. 

We arrived in town shortly after 12:00 and headed straight to the post office. Airlock had a mail drop containing chocolate(a very important package) and I had my warm weather sleeping bag and a care package waiting for me. Just my luck that on the day I swap out sleeping bags the weather would be so cold. I sent my ungodly heavy zero degree bag home, happily. The cold weather won't last long and I'm saving just over one pound of weight in my pack by switching bags. My care package was awesome. Alie and Kyle sent me Justin's peanut butter, snickers bars, Lärabars, and Pad Thai. Thanks Alie and Kyle, you rock. 

After sorting through our goodies we set out to find the best cheeseburgers Pearisburg had to offer. We found Nagel's grill and it did not disappoint. After eating a double cheeseburger and fries we discussed our plans for the rest of the day. It turns out we both were on the fence about heading back out into the cold rainy weather. We talked about splitting a motel room, but neither of us could decide if we should. Since a decision could not be made we went to Food Lion to resupply. As we were getting our groceries we saw chips, cookies, OJ, and chocolate milk and a decision was finally made. If we stayed in town we could buy and eat these delicious treats today. Done deal. We left the grocery store and walked across the street to the motel. They had rooms open so we asked to look at one. It looked up to par, plus the manager would do my laundry and they had wifi... all for $27 each. We paid for a room immediately, then went back to the grocery store to resupply. At least this time we weren't starving like last time we resupplied. My food bag is heavy, but I don't feel like I have too much. 

The rest of the day was spent catching up on phone calls and eating Oreos. I also had my first beer in weeks. We repacked our packs and then went to dinner. Airlock's husband, Gary, offered to pay for us have Mexican food and margaritas. Thanks, Gary, it was delicious. 
We only had 1 margarita each

Tomorrow's weather promises to be sunny and pleasant. I hope to get back to doing respectable mileage, but without Cherokee cracking the whip behind us I'm not sure that's possible(inside joke with Cherokee). 

"The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large." -Confucius


  1. Great decision to stay in Pearisburg, not just for the burgers and Mexican food but it was good for you to get away from the cold wet hiking. Hoping the good weather happens for you on Friday and that you hike as far as you want to.

  2. So good to talk to you tonight. I'll start getting things together for our meeting up with you. And, I'll get the brownies made.
    I'm glad you are staying inside tonight and hopefully, tomorrow will be better.
    Steps and more steps will make the miles less until you see us😘LY

  3. Hi Katie!
    I'm Uncle Tom's and Aunt Liz's niece on the Duggan side - my mom and Uncle Tom are sibs! I started your blog when you started, but, life happened and I fell out of practice of reading your blog everyday. Soooo you just did 30 days in 1 hour in my world - way to blaze through that trail! ;) Living in Colorado, we've gotten to do some amazing hikes, but nothing like this! I'm definitely living vicariously through you right now! There are so many unknown, cool aspects of the trail - like trail magic. Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi, Anne. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I'm so glad you are enjoying it

  4. Let's get cracking.margarita's are great energy drinks and plans are meant to be broken +/-. Enjoy the hike and be safe.

  5. Gee!! Try this again hit post and poof it was gone. Hi Yoda!! I have come to your blog via Airlock's Journal. Dang!! You have not had very good luck with your hiking shoes and your poor feet. OUCH!! I love reading journals and books about the AT. I just bought a Dream Hammock, Thunderbird. It was a toss up with the Black Bird and the Thunderbird. Hoping to get back to AT hiking not sure if a thru hike is in the cards for me. Glad to see your not putting it off to later in life. I'm sure this Hike will have life long lessons. Would love to hear any lessons you have learned about hammock camping the AT.

    1. Michael, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I've learned that during the cold weather hiking on the AT you really need an underquilt. A foam mat doesn't work very well. Also need a small piece of tyvek to put under the hammock to put stuff on and to stand on when it's wet out. I hope you enjoy your hammock. It's one of my favorite pieces of gear