Early bird gets the worm. I was cold and it was time to get up. It’s funny how that works. I seem to have a built-in alarm clock that wakes me up before 5am. The problem was that there were another 6-8 hikers still sleeping! Blue and I are always the first to leave. We were packed up and hitting the trail shortly after 6am.
The morning was brisk which makes it easy to do the miles. I want to move as it warms me up. Blue and I had an easy day today being we only have 25 total miles to go in two days. So we split it, and took our time. We started in the forest, went straight up to a Ridgeline, and followed it most of the morning. Ups and downs with lots of rocks strewn on the trail. I’m not sure if they truck these rocks in from other places or if they are homegrown? Anyhow, they are a pain to walk over and makes our morning a bit slower than usual.
As I’m heading up a pass, there’s a gentleman ahead. He is taking his time and Blue blows right pass him. I stop and talk with him and find out he’s a Pastor. His name is Glen Evans and he lives in Northern Virginia. He asks where I’m from and I give him the abbreviated version I’m from NoCal just as my friend is, but she’s originally from Russia. We met while volunteering at our church in the Coffee Shop. That sparks his interest as he’s an Organic Coffee Bean Farmer and has done many missions in Honduras. What a coincidence as Blue’s husband Alan is in Honduras this very moment. We talk about his mission of teaching the Hondurans how to farm coffee so they can be self-reliant and help educate their children. What a wonderful man! I’m just in awe at the people I meet on this small stretch of dirt.
I catch up with Blue and we have our morning break, then push on to The Settlers Museum that Pastor Glen mentioned. It is an outdoor farm that has all the components of a working farm. We mill around looking at the Farm Equipment, Live Coop with grown Ducks and Chickens, Machine Shop, Laundry Room and Working Outhouse as Blue testified to. One of the remarkable things I love about the East Coast is their history. Almost daily we find some historical treasure along the trail!
Just down the road is one of the Original One-Room Schoolhouses built in 1894. There were 62 schoolhouses in Southwest Virginia in 1890’s. Typically one teacher would instruct seven grades from October-March. Her salary was up to $30 month. Teachers have a special place in my heart. My son-in-law Matt is a High School Mathematics and Special Education Instructor.
After class was finished, we headed down to Sweetwater Venue. This place is a must stop for hungry hikers. The Chef is amazing. Pulled Pork Mac-N-Cheese, Apple Dumplings, sweet tea and lemonade, and all the electrical outlets to charge your electronics. Blue and I stayed the afternoon, charged up and ate more than we needed to! There were lots of hikers and everyone was super friendly, refilling our tea all afternoon.
We still had a few more miles to hike so after 5pm when it wasn’t quite as warm, we ventured out for our final miles. We hiked through some nice farmlands that someone had mowed a strip so we had a path to walk upon. The last few days, we have walked through quite a bit of private property. It truly must have been a logistical challenge to gain the rights to pass through hundreds, if not thousands of acres of land. This trail is over 2,000 miles and I get to walk every single mile of it. That’s pretty cool!
Today was an easy day. The weather was ideal, the terrain was fairly mild minus the first few miles of rocks, and we took many breaks to visit sights along the way. If everyday was like today, I’d never make it to Mt. Katahdin before closing. I started doing some math and have determined that I need to hike 100 miles per week, if I plan to reach the terminus by the end of September. That is ambitious but very doable. If the good Lord is willing to take me all the way, then I will happily continue. Just one step in front of the other.
4 thoughts on “Day 51: June 4, 2022 Partnership Shelter to Davis Hollow Elevation Profile +2359/-2947 13.3 Miles; Total 547.4 Miles”
Love your writing, feel as though I’m there too. Although I know I could never endure this type of hiking . God definitely gave you a gift!
Love to you
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It’s been a lot of endurance, that at times takes my breath away! But each day is better than the previous.
Thank God for an easy day!!!
Love all your pictures of the trail and your stories of all the people you meet!!!
Did I miss something? I thought Blue was leaving you a while back and another friend was coming?
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Blue is back home but will return at the end