Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 62- The Priest And My Confession

June 2, 2015
Piney River North Fork Campsite(818.5) to Harpers Creek Shelter(834.6) 16.1 Miles

Last night was only the third time this whole trip I've camped by myself. It was kind of nice. I had a creek flowing right next to my hammock that acted like a white noise machine. A pretty severe thunderstorm came through around nine and it rained all night. I was up at 6 and out of camp by 7:30. It takes a little longer to pack things away when they are wet. 

I had a nice and easy start to my day. The first four miles went quickly. The ground was wet from the rain last night and my shoes were soon soaked, but it didn't really matter because it rained all day. 

Rainy forest that reminded me of the Dagobah system

The main obstacle of the day was a mountain called, The Priest. Climbing it wasn't the issue, for northbound hikers it's the decent that's difficult. You lose 3,000 feet of elevation over 5 miles. Most of the terrain is rocky and filled with exposed roots. With the rain it was treacherous. It took me almost three hours to complete. Usually, I would finish in 2-2.5 hours. I was not a happy camper when it went from a light rain to a downpour with one mile to go. I did learn a valuable lesson though, when you are wearing dirty socks and they get soaking wet you get a funky rash and/or blisters. 
When I was a little girl my mom told me to never say the word hate, therefore let me say that I strongly disliked, The Priest.

I did enjoy the Priest shelter. It was located at the summit of the mountain. It is tradition on the trail to leave a confession in the shelter register. I really enjoyed reading people's confessions. I confessed that my main motivation for hiking the AT was so I didn't have to work for six months. I also said that it irritates me when people hang their bear bag right next to my hammock. Most of the confessions I read are not suitable to be repeated on here. 

After carefully making my way down The Priest, I crossed over the Tye River. There was another cool suspension bridge. 
Tye River Suspension Bridgr

From here I only had one more mountain to climb, but it was very difficult because my feet were in rough shape. I listened to an audiobook and hobbled the last few miles into camp. Since I'm meeting my parents early tomorrow afternoon I hiked a shorter day today. I haven't stopped so early in the day, 4:00, since my first week on the trail. I had dinner cooked and my hammock setup by 4:30. It was nice to just relax and have a leisurely meal. Around 5:00, Lightning Bolt, came into the shelter. I met him early this afternoon. He is a thru-hiker from Germany that works in politics. Shortly after he came in, Cyborg and Stealth Bomber arrived. We talked and joked around for the rest of the night. I'm not sure when our paths will cross again. The trail works in a mysterious way. Even though I'm taking a few days off in Harpers Ferry, I'm sure I'll see them again. 

I'm very excited to see my mom and dad tomorrow. After they pick me up and get me decontaminated, we will go to Waynesboro for the night. They will return me to the trail Thursday afternoon and continue on to my nieces birthday party in Northern Virginia. 
"Mother Nature is the ultimate truth of the show must go on." -Terri Guillemets


  1. Hi Yoda, Anja here. I just want to wish you a great time with you parents. I hope you have a wonderful time. As you know Gary will be meeting Tessa on Friday, I am sure she is looking forward to that.
    Enjoy the visitors.

  2. I can't believe people really hang their bear bags next to your hammock. That is so thoughtless! Don't they know there is someone in there? I hope you say something to them when they do that. I love the Dagobah picture. It's so peaceful. Have fun tomorrow!

  3. We are going to have a nice visit and listen to trail stories!!

  4. Hi there. I just began reading your blog today after searching for AT hikers' blogs. I am beginning to plan my hike on the AT--planning that could last for a year or two, planning that will realize when I find a way break away from life for 6 months. I have binge-read your blog entries all afternoon. I love your photos and your stories. Thank you for posting your experiences. I have your blog bookmarked so I can keep up with you. I admire your courage to start out on this journey alone. Reminds me of this. "No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We, ourselves, must walk the path." Buddha.

  5. I hope your connecting with "Lightning Bolt" today was a good omen for the Tampa Bay Lightning tonite! Hate that you're getting so much rain, but I guess that keeps it cool! Enjoy your time with your parents!