We had one heck of a day! I woke up in the Shelter with Sid and Unicorn and you’d think I killed a goose. There were down feathers everywhere. Oh no, what has happened to my sleeping bag? Somehow someway there was a large rip in the inside seam near my feet. There were feathers all over the shelter. Unicorn was up so I had him hold the lactating goose bag as I gathered as much of my precious down that I could, and re-stuffed my bag. Unicorn watched and tried to blow the feathers into a pile. It was of no use and I grabbed my needle and thread and began the repair process. I have used this sewing kit more on this trek than any other. Thank goodness, I didn’t leave home without it!
After the repair, Sid and I had breakfast. Oatmeal, granola and hot chocolate in the cereal. No coffee as I was on water rations. The word on the trail is there is no water for over ten miles! You’d think we were hiking the PCT rather than the AT! Sid and I loaded up 2 liters each which equates to four extra pounds and headed out before 7:30am.
Sid was game to go all the way to Weary Feet Hostel if it meant he could eat a real home cooked meal. I just wanted a shower and laundry after be immersed in Ivy of the Poison for the past two days. It’s everywhere and really hard to avoid. It would be a long day, but the silver lining is the climbing would not be too terrible today.
Sid likes breaks. I like breaks so we managed to take many throughout the day. I remember Birdie from Bear Garden Hostel had said, the key to happy hiking with kids and teens is many breaks. She was spot-on. We typically walk a mile or two and stop. Sid wants to know how many miles we’ve hiked and how much longer till we reach the top of the Ridgeline? It’s a game. We guess how far we’ve come and how much farther we have to go. By our second break, we ran into Unicorn, Mulligan and Slaps. They were sitting, enjoying a flat area atop the ridgeline and snacking. Sid and I joined them for a bit and we all took off together. Sid was in the lead with me following until I stopped to take pictures. Then Unicorn and Mulligan followed Sid. He liked that as they were talking the whole time and it passed the time quickly.
I caught up with Sid as he stopped to recline. He found the 600 mile marker and knew I wanted a photo. It was made of rocks, quite artfully done and fairly large. No one was going to miss it, that’s for sure. I sat and was quite amazed by the miles that keep clicking by. At this rate, I just might make it to Katahdin. The school of thought is if you are in Harpers Ferry by the Fourth of July, you will finish. I’ll have to pick it up a bit but Sid is up for the challenge and I’m thinking there’s nothing stopping us now!
We continued on and had a brief stop at Jenny Knob Shelter. There’s no water flowing from the Spring so we kept moving. Finally after ten plus miles, we found a small creek and gathered water. There was a sleuth of hikers filling up and resting near the water. It’s a creek that is flowing both above and underground, for now. We filled up and finished the last five miles with glorious and wondrous water onboard.
Why does it seem the last mile is on a bungee cord and keeps getting longer and longer? We finally made it off the trail, across the Suspension Bridge and road walked to Weary Feet Hiker Hostel. And let me tell you, my feet were weary! On my Knees caught up and we all walked in together. The owner Julie Sloop is a class act. She showed us around, gave us towels, with washcloths (which is above and beyond) and said, whenever you are hungry, let me know. She piled on the Spaghetti in a heaping portion, fresh green salad, watermelon and of course Sweet Tea. I chose the unsweetened version but that Sweet Tea is everywhere on the AT. We ate our supper, did our laundry and retired to the comfort of our tents. I love my little tent. As Sid and I were walking outside to our humble abode, there were Fireflies all over the field. I’ve never seen them before! They were sparkling in the night air, dancing and flashing their disco lights. It’s really something special to witness. Unfortunately my camera doesn’t capture them. I’ll have to work on that.
What a perfect ending to a tough day. We did over 17 miles when you consider the road walk to the hostel. Sid is becoming a good backpacking partner after all. I think he likes all the people that we are hiking with and the Platinum Stays that come along with trekking the AT. It has been a long day but we had strength and even if my feet were weary, we continued on. Sid just might enjoy this thru-hiking, especially when he can soar like an Eagle!
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
2 thoughts on “Day 58: June 11, 2022 Helvey’s to Weary Feet Elevation Profile +2606/-3614 16.9 Miles; Total 609.9 Miles”
Good to see Sid smiling. I hope he continues to have a good time.
So Blessed to have your grandson with you! A bonding that only can happen on the trail with Gods presence. No other interruptions to be had. What an amazing opportunity for both of you .