Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Start: Bearswallow Gap/VA 43
End: US 220/Daleville
Miles: 21.6 (+0.2 for shelter side trail, +0.8 for in-town walking)
I got up at 6:15am, after waking every 15-30 minutes since 5am, and was out the door by 6:45am. I walked down to the the nearby Shell station and got breakfast. While I was eating it and considering how to best go about soliciting a ride, the young fellow who’d checked me in and gotten me my pizza arrived and offered me a ride to the trail. I gratefully accepted; I was back on trail at Bearswallow Gap (2228′) by 7:15am.
I passed over the Blue Ridge Parkway many times, passed by Bobblets Gap Shelter (2086′), past Harveys Knob Overlook (2527′), past Wilson Creek Shelter (1854′) and Wilson’s Creek (1549′), past Salt Pond Rd (2248′), and then up to Fullhardt Knob Shelter (2632′). From there, it was all downhill to Daleville’s US 220 (1253′).
On my hike, I stopped and chatted with Nightingale, a NOBO section hiker who’s a nurse at a local primary school (currently on vacation). We had lovely conversations about children, schools, teen pregnancy, and sex ed.
Overall, my body is doing well. I did develop blisters on my heels yesterday, as my feet have swelled and shoes that used to fit no longer do. I used a spare pair of thinner socks today and that seemed to help prevent chafing. Additionally, my left knee has begun to hurt on downhill portions of trail, so I’m going to see about getting a knee brace/ace bandage here in town.
With today, it’s been 7 days straight of hiking up some pretty big mountains. It’s supposed to rain most of tomorrow; so I think I’ll take tomorrow as a zero day and let my body heal! Also, it should give me time to figure out the issue with my friend’s stove.