Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 8

Maybe the hardest day for me on the trail so far? Bear Bag, Fiber, Tomahawk, and I left the shelter for another 18-ish mile day. We said goodbye to Tomahawk at Ashby Gap and hello to Veto shortly after. The four of us hiked the 8.4 miles to a side trail to a shelter but didn't walk the .2; we just breaked at the intersection. With 10 miles to go, we entered what is known as the Roller Coaster: "13.5 miles of tightly packed ascents and descents," as the guidebook puts it. In other words, 11 climbs in 13 miles. Steep climbs. Rocky climbs. HOT climbs. The temperature today was low 90s and sunny and humid. The roller coaster exhausted me and I was drinking water like crazy. The motivation today was a shower, laundry, pizza, and ice cream waiting at Bears Den Hostel. In fact, at one point, Fiber, Veto, and I were taking a break and Bear Bag came along and didn't even stop; he walked right past and said, "Pizza, ice cream, shower, laundry, soda." Haha! We all had the same thoughts. My clothes were completely soaked in sweat but I finally made it to the top of the last climb for the day and took a side trail to the hostel. Laundry was first followed immediately by a looong shower. It's incredible how amazing a shower can feel after a week of sweaty and dirty hiking! I got myself as clean as I could, ate a pizza for dinner, and a pint of ice cream for dessert: Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked, vanilla and chocolate ice cream with brownie and cookie dough chunks. Amazing! Hopeful, who runs the hostel, has answered all of our questions about getting to and from D.C. We're planning a long day into Harpers Ferry tomorrow but a hotel bed and another shower awaits...major motivation! Also going to be crossing 1000 miles (1000 miles!!) and getting out of Virginia!
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