More Traveler Updates

April 15, 2008 US 21/52 near Bland, VA to Wapiti Shelter (26.3 miles)
It was COLD (31 degrees) and clear this morning. I shuttled back to the trail with 2 other thru-hikers, Neck Beard and Night Terror. With the early start I did my longest hike to date. My legs are telling me about it tonight! Most of the morning was spent walking a high ridge. There was ice and snow on the mountain top, but no significant accumulation. Another hiker, Dynamite, is in the shelter with us tonight. He’s from N.H. and thinks he will finish the AT in July. Frost is expected in the morning. I’m glad to be in my warm sleeping bag.
April 16, 2008 Wapiti Shelter to Pearisburg, VA (16.6 miles)
It was freezing this morning, but warmed into the 50’s by noon. I finally got a cell phone signal and was able to let Elaine know I’m all right. The day began with a long climb and then more gentle ups and downs along a ridge line. The grasslands below are a beautiful green, but few trees are showing any sign of spring. I made it to Pearisburg where I’m staying at the Plaza Motel. The manager ran my laundry for me while I got a shower. What service! I had dinner tonight at “the Bank”, an upscale restaurant just down the street. The food was great, and I’m sure Elaine would approve of the ambiance and service. Tomorrow I’ll resupply for a 5-6 day hike where there are few opportunities for supply.

April 18, 2008 Pearisburg, VA to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter (19.0 miles)
Had a 1 mile hike back to the AT, then a long climb over the next 4 to 5 miles. The morning was cool, but the day got hot by noon. I’m having to remove layers of clothes by late morning now. Most of the afternoon was spent walking a ridge line with views of the Virginia countryside on both sides. I passed through a huge grass meadow on top of the mountain. It was both scenic and isolated. I’m in shelter tonight with Dynamite, the young man from N.H. The shelter has no roof, just 2 small overhangs where we’re sleeping. It’s not supposed to rain tonight. No cell phone service here.
April 19, 2008 Pine Swamp Branch Shelter to Laurel Creek Shelter (18.5 miles)
I got an early start in the sun, but the day quickly became overcast and it began raining early afternoon. It’s warmer now so the rain was not so bad. I met 2 couples who were day-hiking and stopped at the shelter where I had lunch. They insisted I share their home-made cookies! They were delicious. Also, an AT Angel had left a cooler of colas, candy, and cookies at the end of a long climb and I stopped to refresh myself. These unexpected kindnesses gave me a lift on a rainy day. It’s my daughter Stephanie’s birthday. I tried to call her but there is no cell phone reception here. Anyway – Happy Birthday Stephanie!!!


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