A lot has happened since I last posted, so let me try to catch you up. Since Marion, we got a chance to hike with Sugar-Daddy and Riley for two days, we took a much needed zero in Pearisburg, and had a long nearo in Daleville, where we caught up to most of the Cuddle Puddle. In between towns we have hiked some really big miles, working our way through the rolling hills, mountains, and valleys of Virginia (this state is not flat).
We hit mile 700 and 800, hung out around a popular swimming hole for the” Catalina Wine Mixer”, jumped off the James River Bridge, descended under the guillotine, and put some serious climbs behind us. Currently we are in Buena Vista, VA, getting ready for a push to Shenandoah.
We keep meeting more amazing and generous people, including thru-hikers, their families, and local trail angels. A wonderful man named John made us breakfast for dinner at a shelter, and our friend Slim was nice enough to let us stay with her and her family while they visited. After two and a half months getting used to cheap hotels, a fancy renovated barn cabin is astoundingly luxurious.
Also, for anyone contemplating a trip such as this, I have this advice: aggressively downsizing your pack and weight is both a fun exercise, and a rewarding pursuit. I haven’t had a chance to measure my base weight recently, but hiking with such a lighter-weight pack is almost a completely different kind of hiking.
Can’t wait to see all the PA folks in a couple weeks when we get up that way.