May 1, 2013
Today’s mileage: 17.6
Total mileage: 630.8
We set the alarm this morning to make sure we could get into Pearisburg before the post office closed at 4:30. The miles of hiking along ridge lines and through a controlled burn section were quick. We were able to take a nice lunch break at Docs Knob Shelter before finishing out our day. In the shelter they had a map of Virginia and an illustrated page of different snakes. It was interesting to look at the map and see how far we’ve hiked already in Virginia. We are approaching West Virginia, although we won’t be hiking in that state for a few hundred more miles. Soon, we will start heading northeast.
We had heard from a lot of people that we should stay at Woods Hole Hostel. Regrettably, we didn’t stay there. I wish we had planned it out better, that way we could have stayed there for a night, but now it will give us a good reason to visit the area and stay there in the future. 🙂
I saw three snakes today as we descended into Pearisburg. I’m trying to be better about snakes now that I know I’ll see several while we’re out here. They still scared me when I first saw them, but I just calmly walked by as they slithered away. I’m trying slowly to get over my fear.
We made into Pearisburg around 3:45 and headed to the post office before getting a hotel room. I was really excited when I opened up one of the boxes from my mom when I found a container of homemade chocolate chip cookies inside! It didn’t take long for each of us to eat two cookies straight out of the box. My mom sent us a lot of good food and will allow us to buy a bit less at the grocery store. Thanks mom! I also got a few summer clothing items that I’m going to swap out with some winter gear. My Ex Officio convertible pants had developed a hole in a key location, so the arrival of my soccer pants in the mail was superb timing. I’m going to switch over to hiking in soccer shorts now that the weather is warmer. I’m still debating as to whether I want to send home my sleeping bag liner and winter hat. It’s not really that cold anymore, but we have had a few chilly nights recently. Along with my new pants, I had a short sleeve shirt and another pair of soccer shorts sent so that I can send home my Under Armour thermals. Now, I will have one set of shorts and t-shirt for sleeping and one for hiking.
I finally did it. I shaved my armpits. I lasted over seven weeks shave-free, but the hair had to go. With the hotter weather approaching and the inevitability of sleeveless shirts, I couldn’t do if any longer. I had my reservations at first, but once I did it, I had no regrets. Almost two months without shaving is most certainly a record for me however. I hope shaving isn’t a curse or anything out here. I’ll be toast. I shaved my legs too. 😮
We had a good dinner and some beer at the Mexican restaurant in town and now we’re enjoying my mom’s cookies and the NBA playoffs. We’re taking a zero tomorrow and will be doing our usual duties in town. Laundry is already done and we took our first real showers since Damascus. Resupplying, reorganizing, and restocking our packs tomorrow. The number of hikers seems to have thinned out a lot since Damascus. I’m not sure if everyone is spread out more, if we’ve gotten ahead of a lot of people, or more have dropped out. We just heard that one of our friends behind us may have fractured his foot, so we are hoping that he’s doing okay.
Enjoy some photos from our first couple of weeks in Virginia courtesy of Miles: