Friday, July 31, 2015

Day 58: And finally out of Daleville!

May 4: I had wanted to get an early start to my day's hiking, but forces outside of my control seemed to slow me down. In truth, some of those forces were in my control. I spent too much time working on these blog entries and not enough time preparing for leaving town today.

The trail quietly leaves Daleville...

So after eating a big continental breakfast, I returned to my room and started repacking all of the food I bought at Krogers the day before into ziplock bags. Then I packed up my pack. Then I packed up my maildrops.

Maildrops, plural. I had two of them to mail. The first (and more important) was my laptop to be shipped ahead to Front Royal. The second just contained food which I was shipping ahead to my motel in Waynesboro. Technically, I could have bought food in Waynesboro, but I didn't want to get distracted with a stop in town. There was a motel at the edge of town near the trail and I liked the idea of heading to it, picking up the pre-packed food, spending a night, then hit the trail running the next morning. No hitches necessary.

Walking nearly a mile to the post office would certainly slow me down as well, but I had a plan to speed up the mailing of my packages. I checked out of my room, then sat down at the desktop computer next to the front desk and logged into the USPS website to print out my postage there. I taped it onto the boxes then left the boxes with the hotel to give their mailman whenever he arrived. It was the first time I had used the USPS website to print postage and I found the process slow and confusing--it took me the better part of a half hour to get the job done, but done it was.

Finally, at 11:00, I was back on the trail hiking. Of course, the first 1.5 miles was the section I had hiked two days earlier, but I hadn't taken any photos for Walking 4 Fun so I did that now.

The trail crosses under Interstate 81 here along this road.

The day's hike was fairly easy but the temperatures were unpleasantly warm. Probably in the 80s or so. Not hot, but warmer than I would have preferred. At least there was no rain to worry about.

At the Wilson Creek Shelter, two section hikers found a compass that they believed they saw a thru-hiker with his brown dog carrying earlier in the day. They planned to stop at the shelter but since I was continuing on, I offered to carry it ahead and see if I could find the rightful owner.

The last several miles of the day, the trail crossed the Blue Ridge Parkway several times. I remembered this road as being full of traffic and noisy motorcycles and generally hating it, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it all but barren and abandoned. It must still be their off season, and being during the work week reduced the numbers even further. That was great news as far as I was concerned!

Near the end of the day, I had covered over 18 miles--which was pretty good for the late start I got, and I hiked down off the trail to the Bobblets Gap Shelter. The shelter looked packed with people and knowing that the norovirus was making its rounds, I wasn't inclined to stay there anyhow. I did stop long enough to sign the register, however, and ask if anyone had lost a compass. I didn't see a brown dog among them, though, and wasn't expecting that any of them had lost the compass. When I described the section hikers telling me that they think it might have belonged to a thru-hiker with a brown dog, they pointed me further down the hill behind the shelter saying a fellow with a hammock fit the description.

So I headed behind the shelter in search of the man with the brown dog which I quickly found and sure enough, he had lost his compass. Another happy reunion! =)

Before it started getting too dark, I headed back up to the trail and looked for a place to set up camp. Not far, I found a single tent set up at a clearing on the side of the trail. I didn't recognize the tent, but I called into it asking if it was okay to camp nearby. I assumed it was okay, but if it was someone seriously cranky and mean, I certainly didn't want to.

It was Proudfoot, however, who I liked perfectly well. =) However, he was the hiker who told me the previous morning about getting sick with the suspected norovirus. I didn't need to get too close to him! He never came out of his tent, and I cowboy camped as far from the tent as I could. We talked a bit through the walls of the tent, but given my late arrival, it got dark pretty soon and we both headed off to sleep soon after that.

The Fullhardt Knob Shelter, so far as I know, is the only shelter on the trail with a cistern to capture rain water. That's what the long tube from the roof to the back of the shelter is for.

The cistern itself is here at the back of the shelter.

Crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) at MM 97.

Quite a few pullouts for cars to admire the view from the BRP as well!

Sunset is fast approaching! Gotta find a place to camp!

The shelter is looking pretty darned full, though!

I'll just have to continue on a bit further.... this looks like a nice place to stop! =)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The trail is starting to look spring -filled =)
I miss spring time..