Day 57 – Saturday, May 5
Had a short day on Friday after crossing the footbridge at the James River west of Glasgow, Mary drove up from Lawrenceville and picked me up at the local ball park in town. I’m in Lexington, VA at the moment spending the day with Ms. Mary, eating very well and doing some badly needed resupply and gear change out for my next stop in five days in Waynesboro, VA.
The weather went from snow to 91 degree temperatures on the trail in about a one week time period and I have to say I’ve really been hiking in air conditioning since I left in March. This heat is going to take some getting used to. Thank goodness, I think the leaves are finally coming out even at the higher elevations and giving some relief from the intense sun and heat. Even though the water is cold right now, I’m already taking advantage of any swimming holes I cross along the way.
Out of Pearisberg one of the first stops I made along the trail was at the Audie Murphy Monument. Murphy was the most decorated American soldier of World War II who died in an airplane crash near the A.T. in 1971.
The trail both up and down from the Dragons Tooth was a challenge to say the least with a thirty plus pound pack on my back. Being careful not to make a stupid mistake that would take me off the trail was always first in my mind, but I had to follow some tough white blazes. It turned out to be fun, but was very tiring in the heat.
After coming down from the Dragons Tooth, I hitched a ride down to Catawba, VA on an early Sunday afternoon for lunch at The Homeplace Restaurant. Needless to say after spending three days on the trail I felt a little under dressed, but I sure enjoyed the clean smell of those there in their Sunday best. All I can say is if you ever have a chance to eat here, go for it. You won’t be disappointed! The meal was $13.00 for all you could eat and drink. Most hikers seem to find this spot and it’s truly amazing the amount of food that can be consumed by one person! It took me a couple of hours to recover lying down in the yard beside one of the gazebos in the shade. After a while, I made a full recovery. By the way, that’s not me lying in the grass below, but another fellow hiker who may have over indulged himself!
Being that my stomach was full after eating at The Homeplace Restaurant, I decided to catch the shuttle back to the Four Pines Hostel and stayed there for the night. I was actually six-miles north of the hostel but Joe, the owner, told me that he would give me a ride back to my trail head location on his way into work on Monday if I was willing to leave the house by 6:00 a.m. I was packed and ready when he came through and was looking forward to my short hike up to McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate for me to get the views and photos I was hoping for. Oh well..I’ve been really blessed with great views throughout my journey so far, so I’m not going to be sad about having to come back and revisit McAfee Knob and The Homeplace Restaurant later down the road.
In Daleville, VA I managed to spend way too much time at the local outfitters store there, Outdoors Trails, where the staff and the fine folks on the phone with Osprey Packs put me into a brand new super lightweight exos 58 backpack, saving me two pounds in weight. I would also like to thank Merrell for keeping me in boots on my journey north to Maine.
As most of you know, I’m hiking to help raise money for the Hudson Family Foundation and I hope to have several more fund-raising events late this summer and early fall upon my return. I also want to tell you about another worthy hike to raise awareness and money for our wounded veterans. I’ve had the great pleasure to spend some time with both Mark and Sean and I can tell you these guys are genuine young men. I personally want to thank them both for their multiple tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Please take a moment to visit and make a contribution to the Warrior Hike.
One day while eating lunch at a shelter we noticed a Black Snake in the rafters. By the time we finished our lunch, we finally figured out what he was up to. He needed some lunch too! Check out this video below.
Enjoy a few additional photos from the past week.