Day 50: June 3, 2022 Hurricane to Partnership Shelter Elevation Profile +3505/-4209 19.1 Miles; Total 534.1 Miles

It rained for most the night. The good news is it stopped by early morning, and I stayed relatively dry. It’s all about site selection. When it’s raining or it’s gonna rain, it’s always best to find a high spot and something that has protection. I had both. No rain came inside my tent and the back side was virtually dry. Lots of big trees covering my little tent keeping me warm and dry.

Blue Heading out into Mountain Laurel

Blue was up and rearing to go this morning. We had a nice walk in the woods, which made it a bit darker than usual. With the cloud covering, it seemed much earlier than it was. We made it to Comers Creek Falls and there was a sign warning hikers of the bridge being out. There was a 1-1/2 mile detour. Oh goodness. Not a good way to start the morning. Blue was ahead and in perfect Blue fashion, she either didn’t see the sign or neglected to read it. She powered down to the creek without a bridge. I called for her but she couldn’t hear me over the waterfall. So I continued down to find her. When I got to the creek, it appeared very passable by stepping over a few well placed rocks. Lucky for us it was early morning which typically is low flow and we both got across easily.

Comer Creek Falls

Once up and out of the canyon, we came to Dickey Gap and stopped for our morning break. I pulled my wettish tent out and hung it to dry. As we were eating our snacks, Mulligan shows up walking sobo. She was accompanied by her Father and Uncle. They both flew in from parts north, New York and Michigan, and met her on the trail. They planned to hike with Mulligan for a week. Lucky for us, they had a car parked at the trailhead and proceeded to bless us with apple & pineapple, banana bread, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And if that wasn’t enough, took our trash to boot! What a morning we had.

Mulligan with Uncle & Dad

Blue and I decided to push some miles and set up for lunch at the next road crossing, about six miles north. With belly’s full, we took off and scaled the trail. There were some climbs but nothing too terrible and the trail was pretty well-groomed, which usually is not the case. By 1230, we had covered close to twelve miles and we had set ourselves up for our biggest mile day yet. We had our lunch and set our sights on Partnership Shelter, almost eight miles further.

View of Rye Valley

The last stretch was the hardest as my feet were beginning to feel the brunt of the mileage. My right heel is always the first to complain, then the inside of my right foot and typically the left shoulder. Blue had stopped about three miles short and found a lovely spot. I was not interested, primarily because I didn’t have enough water and was looking forward to what laid ahead. So we pushed on and made it to the Shelter.

Meadow before Partnership Shelter

So you ask, what’s so great about this Shelter? Glad you asked. It has a phone that you can use, for free, to order Pizza! I know, that’s absolutely ridiculous but true. So I walked over to the phone, called Pizza Delivery and within an hour, we had pizza, salad and a liter of Dr.Pepper. I asked if they would deliver beer but they don’t. I know, what good is pizza without beer? And that was exactly what I thought. As luck would have it, Steve from Damascus was working on patching a few holes at the Visitor Center. I struck up a conversation with him and before I knew it, Blue and I had two beers! How much better does it get than that?

Thanks Steve from Damascus Drinking inside Blue’s Tent

I guess I started something because after I ordered pizza, so did Siesta & Rushee, and another group of hikers. We all waited by the roadway and before long, our pizza arrived hot and ready to devour. So now you know why I wanted to get to the Shelter. Blue and I ate half the pizza, finished the salad, and drank a liter of Dr. Pepper. And then we waddled back to our tents, fat and happy.

Pizza Delivered for All

I have to wonder what I did to deserve such an incredible hike as this? Coming into this Appalachian Trail, I had no idea that hiking could be anything other than pain, suffering and agony? The close proximity to towns is such a huge blessing! With towns, come hostels and showers and food and so many options for a thru-hiker. The biggest challenge this creates is that many hikers get sucked into town and never make it out. I have lost more than half of the hikers I started with, mostly due to injuries, pushing too many miles too soon or going into town and never coming out. The conveniences of town life are easy to succumb to. Who wants to return to a tent when they can go home to a house? Who wants to eat dehydrated food daily when they can cook fresh food or eat pizza? Or who wants to wear the same stinky clothes, take a bath with wet wipes and brush their teeth with stream water? Well, I certainly do.

South Fork of Holston River

This isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination but it allows me to be one with the Lord, without any distractions and to truly hear him speak over me. The short time I have been here, 50 days has been something I’ll treasure for a lifetime. The people I have met, the friendships I’ve created, the love I’ve been shown by my family back home, is incredible. As long as this gal can get up, put on my trail runners and walk, I’ll stay right where I am suppose to be. Just me and Jesus, hiking the trail.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

2 thoughts on “Day 50: June 3, 2022 Hurricane to Partnership Shelter Elevation Profile +3505/-4209 19.1 Miles; Total 534.1 Miles

  1. Awesome hiking – so
    Many new friends, great food and drink now and then – and so much time with our Lord. You are truly blessed to have the courage, strength and fortitude to do this amazing hike in Gods beautiful country! Love ❤️ B


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