Day 43. Stealth Stream to Cross St (22.1 miles) 634.3 miles total
The mountains kicked my butt today. By far the most difficult day of hiking yet and not because of the terrain.
I started hiking at 8:30 hoping to finish 22 miles to Pearisburg about 4:00. Temp about 55, fog and drizzle.
The trail was a sloppy mess. Water and mud all over because of last night’s rain (along with last 3 week’s). My shoes and socks were very wet early in the day.
At 2:00 I was still 8+. miles out. Still foggy and drizzle. Probably a little cooler as well. Now I’m starting to hear thunder. Checked my guide book to see if any road crossings between here and town where I could be picked up by shuttle if necessary. No such luck.
By 3:00 it was ugly. Steady rain and temp dropping. Progress is slow and it will be at least 2 hours until town.
Now I am really questioning why anyone, especially me, would do this. I should be just finishing golf and heading to The 19th Hole for a few Budweisers!
Your pledges and the charities I’m hiking for kept me going.
The last 2.5 miles were brutal. Still raining and now Iin mid-40’s. My hands are freezing and water sloshing in shoes. Have gloves but they’re deep in backpack.
I lumbered through the last mile slipping and stumbling. Finally saw the road that leads 0.7 miles to town. Trail got steep and very slippery at end. Of course I slipped and slid about 10 feet through mud. Now I’m freezing and covered in mud!
I walked that last .7 miles as fast as a frozen, muddy person can. Got to hotel at 5:30. My hands were so cold it took 5 minutes before I could operate a pen to sign in.
Soaked in hot shower then went across street to Mexican restaurant. Several Buds and a carnitas dinner later and feel much better.
Cloudy tomorrow with chance of rain early. I will be taking day off and watching The Players Championship. Not a planned day off but I deserve it!
Sun in forecast Sunday through Thursday. Can’t wait!
Happy Mothers Day to all moms.