Day 79 - VA 56 Tye River to Dripping Rock, BRP 9.6
A long, hot day.
There was some weird animal in the woods last night at our campsite that kept me awake with a screechy, squeaky noise. I've never heard it before and it freaked me out a bit.
Started the day with a 3,000 ft climb up to Three Ridges Mountain. It was hot already. We were so tired from hiking that we didn't even care about the overlooks.
We were expecting an easier hike after Three Ridges Mountain but the guide was deceptive and the trail was really rocky, though "relatively" flat. By 3pm we had only hiked 9 miles!
We ate a late lunch with Loon, who we have been leap frogging all day, at Maupin Field Shelter. At Reeds Gap there was trail magic, more soda. So divine on a hot day.
At 5pm we stopped for water at a stream and met section hikers going south who warned us the water was a slow trickle, was not dependable right now, at Dripping Rock, our intended destination.
After our experience at Salt Log Gap we don't want to go without water again so we tanked up and carried all that weight for the last 2 miles.
We get to Dripping Rock and true to its name the rock is dripping and the water is just fine! There is plenty of water here. I don't know what those section hikers were talking about. Section hikers.
It was so hot this afternoon. We were dripping sweat and even Padawan was stripped down to her sports bra (she usually prefers her long sleeved top to protect her from the bugs). Some of us experienced nasty crotch chaffing in this heat.
By the time we got to camp at 7pm we were exhausted from the heat, sore from the chaffing, and @toesalad was especially tired from carrying pounds of extra water.
My camera display died again from being carried against my sweaty body. This is both frustrating as heck and disgusting.
We are too tired to make supper tonight. But thankfully there are familiar faces here - Pending, Botany, Yellowbeard, Lazer Cat, & Patch. Cheese Squeeze and other food bag goodies were shared around the fire. Shared food, shared memories. Hanging out with other thru-hikers has redeemed the day.
I think everyone is going to bed happy and restored from the campfire.
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