Managed to cover a very soggy twelve miles today. My morning started by waking up around 520 and not being able to go back to sleep because of a bunk mate’s snoring. I finally gave up around 6 and went outside with my coffee gear to start my current breakfast routine. Decided to eat my own of food instead of the center’s breakfast because I want to lighten my load (not eating quite as much as I expected just yet). The caretakers were kind enough to let me pack out some of the mini frittatas they made for breakfast, which I combined them with babybel cheese for a pretty great lunch sandwich.
As I packed my stuff to head out of Blackburn, snoring dude struck up a conversation about polyamory. I bristled initially, wondering where he was headed, but we had a decent conversation about monogamy and the scarcity mindset/jealousy. Did he ask me because I’m queer? because he found out last night that I’m a therapist? Because it was on his mind and he had a warm body in the room? Who knows.
The climb out of Blackburn wasn’t as bad as I expected. A light rain fell over the next 5-6 miles, and I spent a lot of time ogling flowers and birds. Saw what I believe is a blue bird. Who knew they were so blue?? Saw a few stripe capped woodpeckers whose actual name I need to look up. There was moss everywhere, and the rain made the colors pop, which was a fringe benefit to being soggy.
I was going to do another tattoo “I am here” picture at the Welcome to West Virginia road sign that I saw as I crossed keys gap, but there was a gentleman dressed in street clothes drinking a 40 hanging out by the trailhead parking lot, so I kept moving. Decided to treat myself to some music to deal with the dampness and the incessant rocks sticking straight out of the ground like the plates on a stegasouras back. Wherever the rocks eased up there were giant puddles and mud bogs. My feet held up surprisingly well despite the terrain and never really felt that wet. It was an easy day in terms of elevation, but the descent into harpers ferry was long and steep in places, which made my quads protest for the first time all day.
Crossed into harpers ferry via a highly trafficked bridge over the shendoah river. Great view, but so damn loud. Then there was a calf straining ascent into town and a blue blazed street walk over to the AT conservancy headquarters where I got my picture taken. I’m flip flop hiker number 106.
Dr. John (the fire maker from yesterday) convinced me that I should stay at the Tea Horse hostel, so I made my way there after my close-up with “dot com” (the wonderful woman at the ATC who told me all about her recent trip to New York after she found out I live in Brooklyn). Decided to save restaurant meals for towns in which I’m actually starving, so I made myself a black beans and rice packaged meal for dinner. Then Dr. John and I walked to 7-11 so I could stock up on chips (I might have purchased a bag of Fritos as well). As we approached the store, I was talking about something and flapping my hands around so much that the employee taking a smoke break out front asked me if I was using sign language.
She then barreled into a drawn story about how a family member is “death” (aka deaf). When we finally peeled away from her and made it inside, I nearly yelped with joy when I saw their banana selection (bought 2). Now I’m trying to write this while tuning out 3 middle aged white men one upping each other and debating the end of the world (thankfully all liberal leaning arguments). One of them just picked up the guitar hanging around the hostel. SEND HELP.
Mile 1011.1 to mile 1023.1
Creature feature: not much in the way of four legged friends today. woodpeckers, a blue bird, possibly a nut hatch?, and deer prints.