Tired and sore weren’t the half of it, I was beat. The mouse had chewed a hole on the same pocket that Roland had done a year before and made me smile. It might as well had been him instead, memories of my great dog flooded in as I got ready and headed to the secret shower Warren had told me about the day before. Just a bit down the trail you’ll hear a waterfall and it will be about four feet down. Finding the waterfall sounds I left the trail to discover how much of a drought we were in. There was so little water coming down that it didn’t even fall, it trickled over the eyes of the large flat rock, there would be no shower this morning for me.
The biggest part of the day was getting up an over Kelly’s Knob, this would be a hard climb for the day. The long ups through cow pastures invited the heat and humidity right into your face. There was no escaping it, no shade no breeze, just the hot, muggy, cow pie smell, all day. Moving up the Knob I thought about the latest crap knob I had done like this, Kelly’s Knob in Georgia. Why is every shot climb called the same thing I pondered. Was there some tool on the board or committee everyone hated, did they decided that since they didn’t like him every crap climb would be named after him or her. The climb was an all around crap shoot up and over to the shelter.
Finding some other hikers I ate, rehydrated, and headed back down the trail. My hunger was tearing through my insides, I was starving. I had to eat again and soon. Heading down to the cow pastures the pain grew in my stomach, I was in desperate need of calories. I had only one choice as I passed through the bog to the road, I would have to go to town for food and now. Hitching a ride I wound up with a wonderful gentleman form North Carolina, who was lighthearted, giddy and full of stories. I listened to him the who way into town, where he dropped me off at Wendy’s.
I ate and ate, two are meals and a large frosty to be exact. I had stuffed my face to the cheeks and was finally satisfied. All I had to do was to get back out to the trail, this proved harder than I thought. I was out there for about fourth minutes with no one pulling over, finally some luck. A gentleman pulled over a hand asked me where to and then informed me he was only going to the grocery store. So much for that ride out of town, I hoped it opulent get stuck in Blacksburg. Luck, God, fate would not have that for today. I nice man walked over and asked me if I needed a ride.
We got to talking and the next thing I know we were in the car and there was a flurry of questions about hiking. This wonderful man had always wanted to do what I was doing and wa Ted to slack up some info before I left. I couldn’t have been happier to share, it is more than refreshing to meet someone who loves to do something you are passionate about. Reaching the trail we exchanged info and promised to keep in touch over the year. His biggest question was what do I do if it rains? Well the answer to that question couldn’t have been more evident when it started to rain buckets as we said goodbye. I suited up and hiked out waving goodbye to my new friend.
I was full, still tired and definitely not going to do twenty miles. I settled for passing the shelter and camping where ever for the night. Pushing up the steep climb was hard soaking wet, the mud and wet rocks held no traction as my feet slid here and there. Up up up I went over the switchbackless trail. Climbing one r the last bit of had over hand I found myself on the ridge. Now was the time to put some miles in. Breaking out I hit the ground at a great pace, fueled by calories and happy feelings I moved past the shelter in no time.