AT Waynesboro to Daleville, VA

8/30-9/7 114.9 miles

Tick and I got a shuttle ride back south to where we had started the 19 mile slackpack yesterday and started north. It was a bit of a late start after a fitful night. There was a steep rocky up and steeper down with thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon. I just wasn’t feeling it so camped after a shortish day, a lovely spot next to the river. In the morning a local dog trotted down the little side path I was on, seemed like he had a regular patrol he did. I told him he was a good dog and he wagged his tail as I packed up and followed him across the suspension bridge. He turned to his house but I crossed the road and continued up the trail. He followed and I had to tell him to go home. Which he did. Good dog.

I was glad I waited to do the climb up Priest. Sometime in the morning I heard a buzz then a zap on my forearm. Bee? Horsefly? My arm started swelling and itching but no anaphylactic shock. Haven’t had a bee sting since I was a kid playing in the grass and stepped on one. Same reaction now. My arm is swollen from hand to elbow. Dr. Google says it will be fine in 5-10 days. Wish I had some steroids to take the swelling down. I camped near a road, cooler at last.

The trail tread in Virginia is actually quite good. The lush vegetation kind of overlaps a bit so I sashay to avoid berry bush stickers, poison ivy and stinging nettles as much as possible. Probably should buy some pants instead of shorts but it’s too hot! A 19 mile day put me in good shape for tomorrow’s hostel shuttle into the Glasgow, VA Stanimals. I camped in a little mossy tent site before a road and water source. No hikers came by, we’re kind of sparse out here now.

Charlie got me promptly the next day and I got an outstandingly comfy and affordable bed upstairs in the hostel. And Tick and Paisley are here along with a few other hikers. Shower, laundry and dinner at Scotto’s (the only restaurant) after getting what I could from the general store and Dollar General for resupply. No freeze dried dinners but I’ll make do.

Tower Hill
Fire tower remnants at Tower Hill

Charlie knows what he’s doing so the 3 of us did 2 back to back days of slackpacking, just 14.9 and 13.7 miles each, with dinner in Glasgow so I really don’t need freeze dried dinners, I’ve got one for dinner between Glasgow and Daleville, my next resupply town. I decided to zero, and said goodbye to Tick and Paisley when Charlie met us and delivered our big packs. I haven’t taken a day off since Harper’s Ferry, just near-o’s (short mile days). I’m tired. I’m not the only one. I got back to the hostel with Charlie and told another hiker that I hoped it would rain so I wouldn’t feel guilty. And so it rained most of the night, sorry Tick and Paisley for wishing that on you!

Catwater, Paisley, Charlie, Tick
Paisley and his Batman slackpack
Catwater and Paisley under the Guillotine

Crossword turned up the next morning with Charlie. I knew he would, we stay in touch. He saw me in the hostel, much to his surprise. I told Charlie to keep it a secret! It was good to catch up again although he will start 30 miles behind as I hike just one night out and get to Daleville.

A 17.5 mile day and comfy tent site with 10.7 to Daleville the next day. Shower, grocery store, and outfitters for freeze dried dinners for the next 100 miles. That’s going to weigh me down! I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant next to the motel. I feel like I could eat forever. But I’m really sick of walking every day. Think I’ll take another zero and catch up the blog. Yup. Why not?

The littlest box turtle yet

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