Daleville, Virginia [mile 723.5]
Horizontal at last! Well… not really all that uncommon, given that I woke up horizontal. But horizontal, clean, and in a bed! With food that has no peanuts in it! No nuts at all! Nothing that’s square or rectangular or uncrushable!
It felt cold last night, but I think it was only about 60. But I was camped right next to a creek, down in a gap, and that’s always chilly. I kept hearing weird noises all night, and I thought there was a bear out there. But silly me, it was only other tenters who’d pitched their tents after I’d gone to sleep.
There was another tick on my tent last night. ‘Tis the (yucky) season. On the menu tomorrow is to try to get some permethrin and spray my clothes and tent and pack.
So. The alarm went off at 5, and I dithered around for a bit while I tried to convince my body to slough off the quilt. Eventually I succeeded. I hit the trail at 6:40—personal best! If I could hit the trail by 6 every morning, I’d be able to get 8 to 10 by noon. Sometimes. 😉
The walking was plain old uneventful Virginia. Rocks, a soft pine needle floor, uphills, bugs, and humidity. The usual. I liked it!
I saw two deer early—young ones, I think. They were unblemished brown, running away then stopping to peer at me through the brush, to see if I was going to menace them or chase them or eat them. Or, in my case, just keep walking.
There was a long ridgewalk, but it was the good kind: boulders you could walk around, scrambly places that were fun rather than deadly, and beautiful views. My phone finally died after a couple of hours, so I didn’t get many pictures, but you’ve seen the scenery before.
It was partly cloudy, partly sunny, but summer was here with a vengeance: 87 degrees and super humid. It’s supposed to be that way all week, but hotter and sunnier. The last couple of hours were a tough trek on a mud path through weeds and poison ivy. But the hotel was right next to the trailhead, so here I am—in my first air conditioning of the year! (I don’t have AC at home, so it’s a treat.)
The only disadvantage is that the outfitter and grocery store are a mile away. My feet are too beat to go that far today, so tomorrow’s going to be busy. But I’ll sit here tonight and make my lists. Go forth prepared!
I need to make some repairs to a few things anyway—including my tent. Found a couple of tiny holes in the mesh. There are also holes in my mesh pack pockets. This hike is hard on gear.
Beerdre (or Bierdre?) just called. We’re going to grab dinner at 6. I probably should have exercised more restraint with the junk food!