Slept pretty darn good. I think the fact that I was exhausted played a big role. So here’s me on the trail after two days. My feet ache but not too terrible bad. My legs are a bit fatigued especially when I ask them to climb up and over rock fields in the afternoon. And my shoulders are not excited about carrying a backpack all day. These are the little things, that over time, like a week or two will subside. It’s pretty much like this the first few days. Hence the reason I stay on the trail so long, because it does and will get better.
I’m up and out of camp before 7am which is par for course. I move passed the shelter and the twins wave good morning. No one talks much in the wee hours. The morning has a bit of up and then down into a decent size river crossing. There’s warnings not to cross during high water. No worries here as it’s flowing pretty slow. I skip across the rocks and have my morning call. Cat hole time. I pull out my handy dandy shovel, scoot across the gravel road, a good distance from the river, squat and take care of business. Now typically I wouldn’t write about this, but usually I can poop without any worries. Today, with my pants down I hear four blasts of a rifle! If that’s not enough, another four blasts which sounds much too close for comfort. I pull up my pants and beat feet up the trail. Within a couple more minutes another four blasts of gunfire. Either this guy is a bad shot or he’s having a really bad morning! The Mom and twins catch up and we decide he’s not hunting for us, and we carryon.
My first stop is at Ravens Rock Shelter for my green drink. Last year when I hiked with Blue, she always had her greens. It seemed to power her up the hills so I thought I’d give it a try. I add my electrolytes and MSM, good for the joints and whatever else I have in my food bag. It tastes much better than it sounds. The twins remind me so much of the Ravens, a family I hiked with quite a bit on the PCT. They are young, and full of energy and really like hanging with each other. You always see them sitting side by side, playing together and I haven’t seen anything close to an argument. Herding Cats is doing a great job raising these two. It’s a full time job as she’s a single Momma.
A new hiker, whom I haven’t met shows up. She’s close to my age and her name is Pacer. She’s a flip-flopper too. So what’s a flip-flopper, you may ask? It’s a hiker who starts somewhere else besides the southern or northern terminus. Most of us start at the halfway point near Harpers Ferry but Pacer started a bit south of me. They call her Pacer because she slow and steady but always seems to be in the middle of the pack. We have a lot in common. She’s retired, loves hiking and feels she wants to backpack as much as possible, before her body says no. We laugh at how our mind says yes, but our body revolts. We hike close to the same pace, have somewhat the same itinerary so I’m thinking I’ll see a lot more of her. After she’s done hiking the AT, she wants to walk the Camino, drink wine and eat cheese. Yep, we are gonna have a future together.
After we leave the shelter, we hit the rockiest part I have seen on trail to this point. When I look on my FarOut App, it shows a profile but doesn’t mention a thing about a rock pile! It is slow going and I can’t help but think why in the world did the ATC think this was a good idea. When I hiked in the Tetons, they warn you to stay away from rocks, boulders and large stones. They are unstable and they can hurt you. Now granite, there was a section of, kid you not, house-sized boulders that we had to tackle to get to where the glacier was. But this trail could easily find a different route to send timid backpackers around. Never the less, I couldn’t find an alternate route so bouldering 101 commences. On my way down, I saw another one of those big black non-venomous snakes. I think he was just waking up from a long winters nap because he wasn’t moving when I showed up. He lifted his head, then laid back down. I told Pacer and she came over for a closer inspection. We took a couple of pictures and continued slowly down the Boulder field.
We arrived at Penn Mar County Park. From all the comments in my App, this is believed to be the best park on the trail. It was pretty darn lush, with pavilions and picnic tables, zip lines and playground equipment. They even mentioned if you call ahead, you can get pizza delivered here. That sounds delicious, after eating tuna and pretzels! The view was pretty darn nice. And the lawn was quite inviting. I haven’t laid on grass yet, just hard dirt and rocks. I took a supine position on the lawn and relaxed for…two hours. Yep, everyone left me as I slumbered and enjoyed a rest. The twins came back and handed me a Coca-Cola. Some trail angel left it on the way north, and Eagle-Eye Butterfly spotted it. Then Stink Bug came back and offered it to me. I just love these kids!
As I was resting, I met the Maintenance Worker, Dennis but they call him Junior. He reminded me of a cross between King David and Morgan Freeman. Such a sweet man, who must be in his 80’s. His wife passed away from Alzheimer’s and he needed something to do. After having a couple of children of his own, him and his wife fostered over fifteen children. He told me most of them stayed and he ended up adopting them. He was raised on a dairy farm with his eight siblings and he worked as long as he could remember. He retired from the military, and started working with a Catering Company. Ends up he was the only one who could pass clearance when they needed someone to deliver food to Camp David. I could’ve stayed all day hearing his stories, but as it was, I still needed to hike a few more miles. After my phone and battery pack was charged up, I packed up and left late in the afternoon.
Hence the reason, I did a shorter day. Sometimes the sweet Lord puts you somewhere to rest your weary bones, and you need to listen. Today was almost, a perfect day. I made it to camp shortly after 6pm, built my home and crawled into my tent. But then something terrible happened. I went to inflate my pad and once I laid down on it, it deflated. Hmm, maybe I didn’t close to valve all the way, so let’s try round two. I blew it up again. No such luck, I somehow someway have burst a seam on my most valuable piece of equipment. Luckily I am on a flat piece of real estate minus any rocks or roots, but it’s gonna be a bit hard getting comfortable tonight. I’ll need to find an exit strategy tomorrow and head to the local REI or Outdoor Store. Hope they have one nearby. Oh the joys of sleeping in the woods, and trusting God with his perfect plan.
One thought on “Day 3: May 19, 2023 Wolfsville Road CS to Deer Lick Shelter Elevation +2245/-2583 Miles 12.5/45.1 (1072.0)”
Kelly your trip sounds great tust far, minus your sleeping bag. Praying there I’d an REI along the trail today. So fun to hear about all the interesting people God plants in your path.
I’m so impressed by your desire to hike all these beautiful trails and your trust in God’s provisions and care for you.
If I’d heard the continual gun fire, no matter what position I was in, (lol) I might of thought twice about continuing on.
Stay safe and healthy!