Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 48- Stopping To Smell The Roses

May 19, 2015
Jenny Knob Shelter(602.1) to Stealth Campsite Butt Hollow(615.5) 13.4 miles

Today was all about leisure time. It was supposed to rain early in the morning so we had decided last night to sleep in to avoid getting wet. Plus, half of the Swiss Family Robinson was at the shelter last night. There were 7 kids and 2 adults, we wanted them to get out ahead of us to avoid being crowded while we packed up. I slept in until almost 7. I slept great after only waking up once. The Swiss Family Robinson's dad was up at 11 last night puking right outside of my hammock. Not a very pleasant sound to wake up to. 

I took my time getting ready and didn't leave camp until 8:00. We planned on making it a short day today so we can nero into Woods Hole Hostel early tomorrow afternoon. It is supposed to be one of the best hostels on the trail, a real "can't miss" opportunity. 

Today's hike included all kinds of potential luxuries that we were able to do since it was a short hiking day. The first one was a convenience store located half a mile off the trail. We busted out a quick 6 miles to get there. With the thought of pizza and chocolate milk waiting for me there, I cruised through the first part of the day. Shortly after leaving the shelter I got a quick view through some power lines. 

Then the hike was all down hill until we crossed, Kimberling Creek. It had a really cool suspension bridge to get across. 
Kimberling Creek Suspension Bridge
Kimberling Creek

Immediately after the bridge we came to the road that would take us to paradise, Trent's Grocery. As soon as we got there I bought half a gallon of chocolate milk and a slice of pizza. Airlock split the milk with me and it was delicious. I've been craving it for weeks now and it really hit the spot. 
Yay!!! Chocolate Milk

After that I got a redbull, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and a Dr. Pepper and chips for later. 
Redbull gives you wings

Our next destination was only 2 miles away, Dismal Falls. Thanks, Harding for the tip. It was very relaxing. The water and air temperature was too cold for me to swim in, but I did soak my feet and knees. I also had my chips and Dr. Pepper that I had packed in. We relaxed and sat in the sun for a couple of hours. It was nice to be able to take a break and not focus on how many miles I was doing for the day. 
Dismal Falls

We could have camped next to the falls, but decided to hike for a few more hours so we could nero tomorrow at the hostel. Our goal was very loosely defined as hiking until we saw a good stealth spot 2-6 miles away. We crossed over Dismal Creek several more times in the next couple of hours. We finally found the perfect spot close to the creek and off of the trail. 

We quickly set about making camp and cooking dinner. I didn't eat very much last night because I was dehydrated, as a result, I was a bottomless pit today. I ate a full bag of instant mashed potatoes with spam and crushed up Old Bay seasoned potato chips with hot tea, half of a dark chocolate bar and Chessman cookies. I also found room for a snickers bar and 1 liter of water. Then I washed off in the creek. It felt nice to be relatively clean before going to bed. 
Stealth Campsite at Butt Hollow

Southern Virginia has been pretty boring the last few days, with long flat ridgeline walks followed by steep ups and downs. It has it's own beauty though. The weather has been pretty fantastic overall and the change of pace with good mileage days and early nights in camp has been very enjoyable. I could have probably blown through this section doing 20-24 mile days, but I would have been exhausted at night. I'm glad to have taken it relatively slow and taken in the off-trail sights and luxuries. 

.3 Miles off trail. I can't believe how many people skip this gem because it's "too far" off-trail

"The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much." -William Hazlitt


  1. Good for you for not being in a rush. It's not a race. I have really enjoyed your journal. It's the best of the ones I'm following this year. I look forward every morning to my cup of coffee and reading about you adventures from the day before!

  2. What a beautiful day for you. Glad you took time to enjoy the falls. Missed seeing your blog last night.
    Read first thing this morning. You do a great job making people feel as though they are making the journey with you.
    Thank you for taking time to share your adventure. Our adventure is over and now we will see you in a couple of weeks along the trail. We are so anxious to see you and hopefully, meet Airlock.
    Adventure/Endurance=new self esteem. LY

  3. So glad you are taking the time to enjoy your journey. After all, isn't that what it's all about. I think boring may not be a good word for what you're doing and seeing. Maybe, unremarkable? No, I would think all that would be remarkable too. I don't know, but I don't think I'd be bored. I love the picture of you on the bridge!

  4. Beautiful! I couldn't have passed up an opportunity for that either!! I'm a firm believer in that the journey is not about the destination, its about everything in between!

  5. Shoot.. I think my first comment disappeared. Oh well! I have questions for you... What is involved in your morning camp chores? What do the regular shelters look like if the one you pictured is really nice? What is the folded up foam-looking thing on top of your pack.. some sort of mat?

    I love the picture of you on the bridge! You look fantastic!!

    Love you! Allison

    1. Allison, thanks for reading. Morning camp chores include heating up coffee, eating breakfast, using the restroom(or trees), breaking down camp, and filtering water. A normal shelter only has 3 walls with an open front. Usually there is a picnic table style bench outside as well. The foam thing is a thermarest mat that I use as insulation underneath my hammock. I also use it to sit on during rest breaks.