August 7, 2019
I don’t have any notes for this date, and in unusual Checklist fashion, I took like 3 pictures, but Oakland and I have managed to cobble together a decent rendering of how this zero day went. This entry will be more functional than descriptive, much like the day itself.
We managed to sleep in a bit before eating breakfast on my parents’ back deck in the already humid VA morning with rasping locusts and chatty birds.
We did laundry, and I took every possible opportunity to geek out over my parents’ dog. We played the card game “golf” with HQ, who got so worked up that she blurted out phrases like “fuckass.” I packed my food bag for Shenandoah, which required figuring out how to manage the incredibly awkward distance I had left (115 miles that Oakland and I skipped so she could come to Maine before her work deadline). I didn’t really want to stay at a hostel, but I couldn’t hike high enough daily miles to avoid charging my electronics and resupplying my food. Shenandoah has “way stations” aka small grocery stores that have car camping supplies and sometimes short order grills with sandwiches, etc. After a lot of griping and flipping through AWOL’s guidebook, I decided I would charge my gear whenever I could and supplement my food from the options available in the park.
Oakland spent part of the day preparing her gear for the trip home. She bought her plane ticket back in July amidst all of our logistical spinning when we transitioned from VA to ME. It’s remarkable that the skeleton plan we set in motion actually worked. They don’t call me checklist for nothing 🙂 Obviously, a huge amount of planning credit also goes to Oakland.
The static of Oakland’s departure hummed in the background all day. We made a plan for her to drive me back to Reeds Gap the next morning (Thursday), hike a few miles one way, and then head back to Haymarket to wait for her flight on Friday. As mentioned in previous posts, Oakland was both exhausted from the rigors of Maine and in no mood to return to the realities of being a teacher. I had NO desire to hike alone, but I also had no intention of delaying my last section of the trail for another time. I needed to be done done. We were quite the conflicted pair as we settled into bed that night.
Miles: 0 trail miles
Checklist total miles: 1060.7
Creature feature: an aloof tabby cat, robins, cardinals, sparrows, countless squirrels, and the resident fluffy wonder mutt (today’s top photo)