A long distance hiking trail that starts at the peak of Springer Mountain in Georgia, and ends at the peak of Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Day 56 - Chatfield Memorial Shelter
When we woke this morning Padawan was really dragging and just not feeling well. This is highly unusual for her, though not surprising given the last week of sickness in our family.
Since we are fully stocked for food and are at a shelter we decided this is good timing to take a zero here and let Padawan rest.
The tent site last night was terrible and I slept poorly but as the shelter cleared out of thru-hikers this morning our family moved in and made it home for the day.
I had a completely relaxing day. I'm almost ashamed to say that since it came at the expense of Padawan feeling ill, thankfully she never did need to vomit or make fast runs to the privy. Lucky girl.
I had planned to use this free time to write my article for Merrell, who has helped sponsor us, but I ended up doing too much chatting and meeting the steady steam of hikers who came through today. I also napped and just plain rested.
Padawan and I stayed put for today but the rest of the family took advantage of fairly close access to amenities and did some sight seeing and "touring" on our day off. Which is to say, they went for long walks to nearby attractions.
Mom and Tenacious Bling went to the Settlers Museum and Lindamood School about 3.6 miles round trip from here. The boys went to the Sunday buffet at The Barn, on US 11/I-81, 9.2 miles round trip.
I met a bunch of hikers today. A Canadian couple, and an avid cyclist and backpacker named Hob. I met Gator and Japanese hikers Taka and Loon. Some friends came through later in the day - Poncho, Lumberjack, Gandolph and his new dog Blaze. For supper, we ate hot dogs that the boys picked up on their walk to the Interstate, and Hot Pepper's healthier food. This was our most enjoyable campfire supper and evening with my parents since they arrived.
Dad met a kindred-spirit hiker named G.I. Joe, nice guy who lives in PA and has hiked most of the trail. They shared beer and a cigars.
It was a relaxing day and evening. A true zero day.
Days like this you forget how hard it is to thru-hike and the trail seems honest-to-goodness fun, because you're not having to work for it.
Everyday out here is so different and unexpected.
I ended up loving Chatfield, or at least appreciating it. Whereas last night I really didn't like the place.
Day 55 - Marion, VA (Mt Rogers Visitor Center) to Chatfield Memorial Shelter
@toesalad was up early this morning to go buy our resupply groceries. We packed our food bags, re-packed our backpacks, and left the hotel at noon. Tenacious Bling is moving slow this morning but regaining energy.
Walked to McDonalds to finish our work before getting back on the trail.
Hitched a ride out of town at 3:30 with a family en route to a picnic. They squeezed our whole family, all seven of us, into their pick-up truck. The cab had two rows of seats which made this possible, as they were a family of four, plus a dog.
Today was a beautiful summer day.
Started our hike at 4 pm.
I was disappointed and uninspired upon our arrival to the shelter. It was getting dark, there were no familiar faces or friends, the tent sites were terrible, and there was a party feel to the atmosphere at the shelter.
I don't know why I'm so cranky but three family members sick in the last week probably has something to do with it.
Found a hitch for our whole family in a pick up truck. Kids are in front with the driver's family and his dog. The adults are in the box of the truck with our seven backpacks and driver's bike.
The things your parents tell you not to do like hitchhiking and taking food from strangers are perfectly acceptable trail practices.
Before we leave town this afternoon we need to spend some time at McDonalds doing video project and internet work. Kids hang out on the grass outside while @toesalad and I finish up our work indoors.
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