Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 66-Slack Packing Greatest Invention

Last night I didn't make it to bed until around 1:30, after finishing blogging and gathering some other things. As I got ready for bed, turned off the lights, and closed my eyes I heard this scratching at the window-I figured it was just a squirrel/mouse/chipmunk in the walls since it is an old cabin. I closed my eyes. The scratching got louder and longer-it was not a small rodent. Is it a bird? Could a raccoon get on the roof?! And then I saw eyes-it was a damn cat! I decided after a little while it would give up and get itself down, I was wrong. The other cat Bleu went to the window and complained to the cat on the other side, they were tag teaming me. Finally I got up, opened the window, and brought the cat inside. Even indoors; the "wildlife" is bothering my sleep schedule! I woke up around 6:30 and fell back asleep knowing I had a little over an hour left. I didn't want to get out of bed when my 7:30 alarm went off and turned off my 7:40 so I didn't have to hear it, and just laid there. Finally I decided to get up and have my usual morning tea. Breakfast was the French toast I had made the night before, topped with yogurt, eggs with bacon mixed in, fresh fruit, pineapple juice, and fresh bread of course. It was yummy! After bringing my plate to the kitchen; the running joke was whether I was leaving today or not. Today was the day I would leave Woods Hole Hostel...and then come back. So Michael car salesman that he should be, was talking Pheonix, Johnny Appleseed, and myself into slackpacking 10miles from Pearisburg back to the hostel and the following day 20 miles to the Captains where our packs would be shuttled. This was very tempting. It sounded great, I was about to ask Dexter so it would be split four ways when Pheonix and Johnny Appleseed decided as tempting as it was they were going to hike out. Damn, well now it was already in my head and I wanted to make it happen, I asked Dexter and he was down. Neville said she was going into town around 12:00 and could take the two of us, so I went upstairs back to the original shared room I had the first night so it would be cheaper. I packed my slackpack and roughly figured out where I would be heading in the next 7 days and where my mail drop will be. I got word that my nana and papa will be leaving tomorrow with the motorhome and driving it from Florida to Connecticut and will be visiting me in Virginia! I asked them where would be convenient for them and decided on mile marker 725.5 a parking spot right of 81 near Troutville and Daleville. I figured out a higher mileage schedule than I have been used to, but didn't really have a lot of options unless I stealth camp and we all know how those nights go. Next week I should be at Dragon's Tooth and Mcafee Knob which will be exciting! Through that section, stealth camping is not allowed so it limits my schedule a little bit. The tentative schedule has me meeting up with my grandparents on Monday. I went to get my left over bread and cheese out of the fridge and put them in a ziplock, I pulled out the butt of the bread and laid it down. As I was putting the cheese in the ziplock; Michael picked up my scrap of bread and put it in the scrap bucket, handing me a mini-mini loaf to bring instead! What a lovely lunch that will be for my slack pack, thank you Michael. As Neville, Flyaway, Dexter, Asher, and myself all piled into the pickup with bags of trash, empty egg cartons, packages to be mailed, and boxes and bags for strawberries-we were off. Asher stuck his head out the window like a happy puppy. We stopped by the farm to drop off the cartons to be filled, got $5 worth of gas since the light was on when we left, and stopped by the dump to get rid of the trash. After, we dropped Asher and Flyaway off at the post office with the packages while Neville drove us to the trailhead. The first 2 miles was all uphill, everyone we passed said they were sorry that we had to walk up it. I was expecting some horrible climb the way these people talked about it, and though it was no walk in the park-it certainly wasn't what they were making it out to be either. We checked out Angel's Rest and had a great view, shortly after Rue joined us she is Australian and was at the hostel the night before. We talked with her for a bit, and carried on. On the way out we saw No Pants who was also there the night before. You can see my new bright pink compression sleeves I am trying out for my legs in a photo below, my mom sent them in this last package-I hope they work well! While continuing on the trail we saw Johnny Appleseed and then Pheonix. We talked with them for awhile and I snapped a photo with them. The rest of the terrain wasn't bad, walking on the ridge line and getting another view at the power lines where I enjoyed some of my bread and cheese. Realizing we had about 6 more miles to the hostel (since it is .5 off the trail) we cut the break short after Dexter finished his orange. We came across all the people who were at the hostel the night before so that was fun. We were hiking from Pearisburg (which was north of the hostel) back south to Woods Hole. The rest of the miles were some ups and downs here and there but nothing bad. It sprinkled on and off for awhile but luckily nothing let loose. There was some small rocky sections which suck! Just before 6:00 (we started around 12:30) I had déjà vu, I was standing at the same dirt road fork I had been 3 days ago. This time I knew to go left. It was still sprinkling by this time and when I came up the driveway to Stonebear sitting on the porch I said, "honey I'm homeeeee." Dinner preparation had already begun, I made a cup of peppermint tea and sat on the front porch with Stonebear and then the rain came. Made it just in time! It passed fairly quickly which was nice. It is supposed to rain tomorrow as well so I am thinking of slackpacking from Pearisburg to the captains which is 20 miles, and that way I won't have to carry a full pack in the rain for the scheduled 19.3 I had for tomorrow. I picked greens with Neville and then finished up in the back garden beds with Michael. Tonight was salad and bread as always, pumpkin and spinach lasagna, and pork. After my gatherings, I finished my tea on the porch and then I was summoned to ring the dinner triangle! I guess I have been here awhile! We all gathered inside for dinner since it was sprinkling and said our thanks before eating. It was nice having everyone together in one room even if it was two tables, most nights we are outside and some are scattered about. I sat with Neville, Flyaway, Michael, Stonebear, Pockets, and a couple that were here the night before: Downdog and I forget his name. Everything was great, and we talked about a marshmallow eating contest or playing fluffy bunny (stuff as many marshmallows in your mouth and try to say fluffy bunny) thank god I don't like marshmallows! Dexter joined us and the competition was going to be between him and pockets but then Neville realized it wouldn't be fair since he didn't eat dinner. Michael also came up with a brilliant (I use this loosely) idea of using the goat dome houses for rooms and using hay and charging extra to sleep with a pig-not sure how well that idea will go over. I ended my evening with a scoop of Amish blueberry ice cream which was amazing, and went upstairs in hopes I would have the room to myself tonight. I brushed my teeth and in the process, a guy came up to stay-so close! I got in bed and began to blog, he took a shower and then went downstairs for a bit. The couple in the private room next to this room took a shower and she was giggling the whole time while it sounded like he played a flute? Maybe he can whistle like one? Either way-it got annoying. After their shower they slammed their door and continued to giggle and play a mysterious flute. The kid in here must think I am anti-social since I've been on my phone the whole time, and the he disappeared again. The skies opened up and it is now down pouring with occasional thunder/lightning. I kinda hope this guy comes back soon, I want to go to bed and am not sure about just shutting the light off. I am really bad at this communal room thing, speak of the devil here he is. Maybe I should be friendly...seems his name is Sleepy-goodnight Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

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