Day 97: Blackbird


This B&B is gorgeous. My mom Virginia would have loved this place. Tree Streets Inn. Highly recommended.

Confession time: In my pack I had some Pepto Bismol tablets from back with my bout of pre-plague in Hot Springs. Last week, when I was pushing the food envelope, twice I ate two of them just to taste the cinnamon. On the other hand, given my current diet, maybe you can’t ever get enough Pepto. 😉

Waynesboro is a lovely, historical town. Lots of southern history here, along with stately homes and beautiful gardens and friendly folk. You have to call them that. They don’t seem like people; they seem like folk.

The sky is blue and the breeze feels wonderful on clean skin, here in a secret garden of wind chimes and honeysuckle. And scabs, because that’s what my bug bites have healed to! Yay!

I’m sitting out here spraying my clothes with permethrin, thanks to the magnificent Blackbird from this journal, who picked me up with his crew of Mini-me’s and shuttled me to Walmart and the outfitter! Thanks, Blackbird! If you ever do Rocksylvania again, call me!

That’s some fine trail magic, there.

Hey, I’m picking up a southern accent in my writing!

I hit the CVS and got a variety of insoles to play with. Then I had an ice cream cone. You know, it struck me that I’d forgotten that kid skill of really working an ice cream cone. And that made me wonder if maybe the point of this whole fool’s errand is to learn how to be a kid again. Less fear. More silliness. Maybe it’s time to shed some of that weighty adulthood like a snake, molting.

Hey, Blackhawk was in the outfitter! He’s two days ahead of me now. I’m glad he’s still in my bubble, more or less. Pathfinder’s back on the trail after a week at home.

Hopefully next week I’ll be able to see my friend Janet, who’s graciously offered to drive down for a visit. Can’t wait!

This crazy, crazy trail.

I’ve now received warnings from two separate nonalarmist sources that severe weather makes Thursday an extremely bad choice for setting out again. I hate wasting the day, but I’m thinking about laying over until Friday. I don’t want to start the next leg with another hurricane. But the day! A whole day!

But that story… ‘I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter. What did you want?’ Have I received my car and my boat? Hrm.

This is where I need a partner. Hey, be my partner! On the one hand, I’m so late that every day is critical. And staying in town costs money. On the other hand, hiking in this extreme stuff is unpleasant and dangerous, and carrying the wet gear makes it torture. Setting up wet, sleeping wet, packing wet… you know. You’ve seen it. And the winds in the woods are really frightening. Plus, I kind of have these giant bruises on my hip that make the pack hurt like hell. And the foot injuries, etc. Another day of healing couldn’t hurt (although that much deconditioning is usually a bad idea and brings on the day 2 blues). On the other other hand… an extra day of town food would increase the reserves.

I’ll stick the weather report below. What would you do? Stay in town one more day and lose the time? Or stuff the fear and get out there, and hope and gamble for the best? (And please stay safe, my family and friends back home in Philly!)

“Thursday, the threat shifts to the East as the cold front and attendant upper-level dip in the jet stream sweep in. Damaging straight-line winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible in the Mid-Atlantic States, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Damaging straight-line winds and heavy rainfall are the main threats farther south Thursday from the southern Appalachians and Tennessee Valley to southern Virginia and the Carolinas.”






Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Day 97: Blackbird

  1. Ginny Henninger

    You must feel as though you’re living in the lap of luxury. Looks beautiful. Enjoy it. Stay an extra day.

    • It really is gorgeous! I talked to the innkeeper. They penciled me in for the extra night, and we’re going to keep an eye on the weather!

  2. I was just looking at the weather, and it looks like you have severer thunder and lightning storm warnings scattered throughout the next week. Sounds like some rough hiking ahead. Stay safe and warm when you do decide to head out.

    The inn looks charming. 🙂 Glad you found a cozy spot to hole up for a couple of days.

    • Probably a couple of days plus one. Places like this make me want to open a B&B. Then i remember that I’m a lazy slob.

  3. Mary Aikens

    Wow, that place looks awesome!!! And they welcome dirty, smelly hikers in? They must be some pretty special folks! I’d stay put for sure, it’s not looking good at all for hiking till Friday. Stay safe, dry, well fed and rested!! 🙂

    • The proprietors call June ‘hiker month,’ lol. And they give hikers an excellent discount! =D

  4. Lisa Milstead

    Beautiful B&B! I’d drive up and be a hiking partner with you if I didn’t have this grad school thing going on right now. And that I would slow you down. but hey- I’m in your age range; I could catch up eventually.

  5. Marge

    I will never look at Pepto B the same! Whatever it takes! We should start calling you Bruiser! Put a face on that bruise and some ears. You can make “it” your hiking partner and talk to it as much as you want. It’ll b a great listener. Rapt attention! As for the weather, one hour at a time. The weather is so unpredictable this year, as far as changing goes. A few miles difference N, S, E or W can mean a lot. Have some fun. Watch a movie. Bloomin onion!! Or, if it clears, move out. You’ll know. And you can restart your day at anytime! xo

    • Speaking of naming things… sometimes I think about that Tom Hanks movie. Castaway? Where he made the volleyball into a face and talked to it?=D Wilson?

      I let the various parts of me have discussions. I let the wild and crazy hippie me try to talk the uptight and terrified me off the ledge. Then I let the analyst part of me look at the other two and say, “So why are you doing this?” And the anxious part of me is the mascot. It lives in a cave. Its name is Beast. When an anxiety comes up, the others throw it to the Beast, who eats it and spits out peace.

      I told Janet I was getting strange even for me, lol!

      Miss you!

  6. Red

    I vote hiking around town to not lose the conditioning, but stay off the trail. And bulk up while you wait. I think you will be faster and make better miles. Just sayin…

    • I think you’re exactly right. I think I needed a way to recharge, and the trail is providing the excuse!

  7. Beth

    I vote stay in a warm dry bed, town hiking is over rated, just sit inside and beat yourself with your hiking poles to keep the bruises fresh. They’re cool looking. Just sayin…..

  8. You are a rocking woman! Stay safe from the incoming storm.

  9. Slo & Because

    Ahhhh. That looks like it could really hurt. Follow your instincts. Stay out of the storm if you can. You have kept yourself well and safe for a long time. We are always thinking of you. Slo & Because

    • I’m pretty sure I’m staying the extra day. I don’t want to deal with another monsoon in my ultralight tent!

  10. I once saw a shelter crushed by a giant tree…widow makers and really bad weather are a dangerous combination. I would stay put and enjoy the mini trail vacation 🙂

  11. Kelsie

    I like your thoughts on learning how to be a kid again. Less fear + more silliness = good. Stay safe and enjoy your possible extra day in town.

    • It’s gone from possible to definite. They filled up, so I had to make the call. Now it better rain hard so I feel better. 😉

  12. Donna

    My thoughts would be Extra day = Safe, clean, dry & more ice cream!!!

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