Day 78 - Hog Gap Camp to VA 56 Tye River
Today was a long day and the 3,000 ft descent down from The Priest to VA 56 was tiring at the end of the day, that's for sure.
The day was beautiful but the weather is heating up and we were hot at midday.
The morning was fairly easy hiking, a lovely morning really, rolling terrain and nice trail. We met up with Loon and interviewed him on video. We're always happy to see Loon.
We hiked through another Salt Log Gap. This one at a road crossing, USFS 63, and there was trail magic soda, always a welcome treat on a warm day.
We were making really good time today so we stopped for a midday nap. @toesalad is still recovering from being dehydrated a few nights ago, when he expended a ton of energy and water looking for water, to no avail. He seems more tired since that experience and like his body needs more rest. I'm always ready for a midday rest.
This was my second nap on the trail in two and a half months of hiking. I take naps on a semi-regular basis in my normal life, once or twice every couple week, whenever my body needs an afternoon rest. Not having that option on the trail has been both mentally and physically difficult. Some days it seems like every fiber of my being longs to have an afternoon nap, and we walk on, but today we rested.
Ironically, I didn't sleep but I did enjoy the reprieve. Because of the bugs, which weren't bad in that spot, but definitely bothersome if you're trying rest, Padawan, @toesalad and I set up our tents. We're experienced now so that job only took a few minutes. Padawan enjoyed the quiet time in her tent but Otter found the break boring.
We decided to have our big meal at 3pm, at the end of our siesta. That allowed us to hike through late afternoon and early evening till dusk. And just snack during the afternoon and evening before bed. It's nice to mix things up a bit.
The hike up to The Priest was buggy. The shelter area at the top of the mountain was unappealing and the log book, which has a hiker confession theme (Priest Mountain) was more ribald than necessary.
We left the shelter and hiked the 3,000 ft down to VA 56. It was difficult and tiring. We got our water for the night from Cripple Creek. We're not in wilderness in this part of VA, not the wilderness we're used to at least, and the water from a mountain creek seems safer, less chance of all manner of contaminants, than the river at the bottom of the valley.
There is no campsite here, we've pitched our tents so they aren't visible from the road but there's nothing stealth about our site. Camping across the suspension bridge seems more prudent but we couldn't find the space.
I don't like being so close to the road and to houses and the accompanying guard dogs. There are loud dogs in this neighborhood. I miss the woods.
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