Friday, June 10, 2011

June 2

My pad made for much better sleeping than a cot and I woke refreshed this morning, breakfasted on two bowls of cereal and an apple, and got a ride back to the trail with Santa's Helper, a guy helping with the hostel. My foot was swollen only slightly this morning and felt quite a bit better; I could actually walk without limping! Huge improvement. Vittles and Zen were the other two in the shuttle and they hike fast so I was on my own. I came to the registration area for Shenandoah and filled out a backcountry permit. The form asks that you put where you're staying each night...I just wrote "thru hiker" across that section...that'll do, right? The trail actually didn't enter the park until about 7 miles later. The day was beautiful--a cool, breezy morning and fairly easy terrain; I didn't start sweating until almost 10! I ran into Bear Bag and Do What filling up at a spring; haven't seen them for awhile so that was neat. Fiber and Veto caught up to me at lunch time and again while I was taking a break and resting my feet. I actually hiked with them for about 3 miles; I've been going so slow lately that I haven't been able to keep up, so I was pretty excited about that! Couldn't keep up the rest of the way to the shelter though as my feet were hurting and I stopped for a break a few miles away. I'll get back to normal one of these days! There was no water for a 12 mile stretch today and it was tough to ration my 2 liters once the day got hot. I have the capacity to carry 3 liters so I may have to do that on long stretches. I finally made it to Blackrock Hut around 5:30. Bear Bag is here along with some people from the hostel last night: the five of us, Peru, Smooth, Freight Train, and Plan B. I've got a nice (level!) tent spot up the hill from the shelter...haven't been in my tent for awhile! A deer was walking around camp earlier...goes to show how different "park" animals are from the normal wildlife. We crossed Skyline Drive 7 times today and will cross many more times tomorrow and in the days to come. It seems in the park we're never far from civilization!
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