More Traveler Updates

April 30, 2008 Matt’s Creek Shelter to Punchbowl Shelter (12.7 miles)
It was a cold morning, but warmed nicely by noon. The day began with a beautiful walk by Matt’s Creek and the James River which is well known to those interested in the Civil War. I crossed the river on a foot bridge and climbed almost 3000 feet up and over Bluff Mountain. Spring is coming to Virginia. Except for those on the high ridges, the trees are beginning to bud. Lots of dogwood and wild azaleas are adding color to my day! Tonight I’m in a shelter which has a small, but pretty pond nearby (below). I’m here with Mike, a thru-hiker from N.J. who went to Colby College in Waterville, Maine. I hope to get an early start tomorrow. I plan to hike about 12 miles to a road (US60) and hitch into Buena Vista, VA, for re-supply and a good shower and meal.

May 1, 2008 Punchbowl Shelter to VS 60 (outside Buena Vista , VA) (11.3 miles)
I had a short day today. The last 4 miles went by a beautiful creek (Brown Mtn. Creek) with lots of shoals and small waterfalls. There was little traffic on US 60, but an older man in a pick-up truck gave me a ride (10 miles) into Buena Vista. After checking into a hiker motel (Budget Inn), I walked about 1 ½ miles to a Food Lion to re-supply and then walked back with my supplies. I’ve now showered, washed my clothes, and eaten so am feeling much better! Hiking the AT and hitchhiking when necessary will really make you appreciate how privileged our lives are. Please continue to pray for my health, safety, strength, and perseverance. Back on the AT tomorrow.
May 2, 2008 US 60 near Buena Vista, VA to the Priest Shelter (20.9 miles)
It was a nice warm sunny day for hiking. The day began with a long climb up Bald Knob and Cold Mountain. At about the summit I saw a familiar face hiking toward me. It was my old friend Virginia Slim (below), who had stopped his thru-hike and was just out for the week-end.

We had a nice visit before hiking on. Later on I photographed a rabbit who sat quietly for me while I took his picture several times. He seemed almost unafraid. I ran out of water about 4-5 miles from the shelter. Unfortunately no streams or springs were found until I reached the shelter where there is a flowing spring. What a relief! No other hikers are here now so I’m going to read a while before going to sleep.


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