Day 93: RIP cicadas

Spy Rock [mile 819.8]

Waynesboro is at mile 857.5, plus 4 miles into town. Tonight is Friday. Reasonably, I should be getting to Waynesboro… let’s see. Saturday Sunday, Monday… sometime Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday. Unfortunately, the phone battery will give out tomorrow. So I’ll have to transpose three updates. Might need another little notebook!

It rained hard all night long. Around 7 AM, it finally gave way to a cold, gray, intermittent drizzle. The sardines packed up and headed out.

I saw a toad, a bunny, and a deer, and made my first legitimate pass of another hiker. Sunny, his name was. Slower than me. 🙂

No more cicada noise!

I fell once on slippery leaves and skinned my other knee. Yay, they match!

A hiker named Blue got a weather report. He said we’re under a full tropical storm warning. That explains yesterday. Also, apparently we were in the eye of it this afternoon, with resumption expected at around 6 PM. I found my camping spot this afternoon and got set up to do a little damage control before the rain starts again (which is happening right now).

Mice chewed a big hole in my tent last night! That, or somehow it got caught on a nail. Everything’s so soaked that the repair tape won’t stick. I worked something out, though. Not sure how I’ll handle tomorrow, yet. That’ll certainly involve another wet packout. I might try putting the tent outside the pack again. Except…

My pack is saturated. My tissues are destroyed, but the toilet paper seems OK. Food is OK. But my AT Guide took on water! That’s not good. Hopefully it’ll dry without the pages sticking together.

Highlight of the day: trail magic! Walking down a hill, I came across two coolers. A Coke and a Snickers completely changed my day. Trail angels, thank you so much! Nothing out here brings so much joy as trail magic, especially on a crappy day. I love you all!

The worst part about the phone battery issue: no reading again.

What I learned from watching the mullet crew: Those people have fun. I meed more fun. I watched their interaction and remembered how to be younger, I think.

They all did their own thing all day. Two guys played chess with a notebook and duct tape pieces. Two guys read actual books (book weight!) and debated the merits and meaning of everything from Isaac Asimov to vampire literature to Moby Dick to Kafka. They had awsome conversations. I miss those!

The one guy who fascinated me the most is passionate about cooking. He was older than the others—maybe 30, lol. He made two meals. Lunch was a tortilla with bean dip, pepperoni, hard boiled eggs, fresh onion, and some kind of hot sauce. It actually looked like a work of art. He brought all this fresh food from town. (Food weight!) Then dinner was a soup: fresh onions, garlic, carrots, and lot of other things that he chopped into his pot. All of that food is so heavy! The carrots and eggs alone must have weighed half a pound. I love that he carries it. His food bag is the size of a daypack. Maybe if I manage to keep up with the 2 mph, I’ll get a stove again.

That same hiker is carrying a music system that must weigh a pound. But it was so relaxing, listening to Radiohead, the Beatles, Beck, the Hepcats, blues, all while the rain hammered so hard on the tin roof. Fun!

Maybe I need to figure out a way to add some luxury weight. I’m stripped down, and every gram of that is gone. I do still have the down stuff—and by the way, I needed every piece of it yesterday and last night. My pants were the envy of the crew.

These people aren’t ultralight. On the other hand, most of them sent back most of their warm clothes, so today was rough on them. Not Food Dude, though [not his real fake name]. He still had a puffy.

One guy found a pair of socks at the shelter, just lying here. Those socks were dry. His were wet. So he adopted the found socks… just put them on his feet. No inhibitions about where they’d been before. No caution. Just freedom.

Periodically they would all interact together in various combinations, like an old married couple but with eight people. It made me smile.

Anyway, nice crew, now that we’ve been thrown together a little. I might see them again; probably not. Unless I flip-flop, in which case I’ll see them in passing. 🙂

And that’s it! Going radio silent now, with just a little charge left to try to get email, which I haven’t been able to access all week; take some pictures for the next couple of days; and hopefully have enough juice left to make a reservation somewhere in Waynesboro.

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Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Day 93: RIP cicadas

  1. This reminds me of a time in The Adirondacks last year where I ended up meeting and hiking with a few guys who had brought music, and we were even able to watch most of a movie one night while drinking scotch in the shelter and laughing. Great memories! When I am alone, I bring my kindle and cherish the time reading and writing about my experiences while sitting alone in a beautiful spot. Thanks for bringing those memories back 🙂

    • The memories are the best part! 🙂 Well… I mean doing the things hat make good memories. You know what I mean!

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