Bear’s Den Hostel [mile 998.6]
I lost my P-style. 😦
It’s a critical piece of gear. I’ve ordered yet another one. The maildrop arrangements will be tricky. And now I don’t have a FrankenPee to tide me over. In Harper’s Ferry, I’ll try to pick up something I can modify to do the trick. Gah. This is terrible.
I’m at the Bear’s Den, which is great. I’m clean, and the ridgerunner from last night (Bear) is doing laundry for us, mine included. I’m just waiting for it to dry.
Where to start? Hrm. Got up, got out. Walked. It was hot, very hot. The roller coaster’s ups and downs were manageable, but the rocks were a surprise. The terrain was challenging—near Pennsylvanian in spots. After a few hours, my bad knee was throbbing, which was unexpected. So far the knee’s been doing well. By noon it hurt every time I lifted my leg up to climb over a root. (All that extra squatting’s not going to do it any favors.)
I was really out of it by the time I climbed that last hill to the hostel. I actually think I know where the P-style fell out of my pocket. Two miles back, when I sat on a rock to rest. But it could have been any one of a dozen breaks I took this afternoon (or at any point climbing up any of the steeper hills). If I were sure it was two miles back, I might even consider walking back for it. But I can’t be sure. And I can’t be sure I’d find it. It’s green. The new one will be bright flaming orange.
On the other hand, this might help settle a logistical issue I’m wrestling with.
Anyhoo… yeah. After I hiked maybe two, three hours, I crossed paths with a couple from Bucks County, Pennsylvania! Right up the street! They were sectioning from Pennsylvania to Georgia, and they were a little overwhelmed, I think. They thought there would be more convenience stores. And they were just about out of food. Luckily, I had five pounds extra! Maybe I carried that food all the way through Shenandoah just so I’d have something to give those hikers.
Saw a toad. Oh, and right before I got to the hostel I saw a doe with two fawns. Amazing stuff; she was herding them across the trail right in front of me.
I’m too tired to be erudite. And losing that piece of gear has taken a bite out of me.
I was thinking about flipping right from Harpers Ferry. The logistics for getting up there are just planes, trains, and automobiles. But there’s a huge problem up top, in Maine—namely that Katahdin Stream campground is almost full. I’m going to call the Baxter park people from Harper’s Ferry… maybe. Or, crap. I might not be able to talk to them until Monday.
Has anybody stayed in a lean-to while they summited Katahdin? The tent sites are booked, although there’s one place on the chart that has two separate sites open on consecutive days.
I’d just go ahead and reserve from here, but that’s a nonrefundable $60. A very expensive error if I don’t get the dates exactly right.
I might be looking at a forced week or two at home. Where, by the way, I have a spare P-style. It’s blue.
Oh, also by the way… totally depressing here. They all started in late April. They’re astonished that I can only get 12 to 15 miles usually. They’re out there saying, “Tomorrow we’ll be in Harper’s Ferry!” [Two days for me.] “In two weeks we’ll be in New York!”] [At least a month for me.] “Remember when we were in the Smokies two weeks ago?” I feel a bit like a NOBO ghost.
And the karaoke guitar player is here.
If I started southbound in mid-July, would there be other people? Fat, out-of-shape people who wouldn’t mind waiting for me? Is there a spot at the campground in mid-July?
Sometimes I need a day to recover after I spend time in a hostel. It’s exhausting. 🙂