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Travis "BevoHi" Hildebrand
Begins: Mar 20, 2016
Date: Sun, May 8th, 2016
Start: Daleville VA
End: Bearwallow Gap - VA 43
Daily Distance: 21.6
Trip Distance: 749.4
Hours Hiked: 9
Min Elevation: 1253
Max Elevation: 2649
Entry Lat: 37.485638
Entry Lng: -79.668617
Min Temp: 60
Max Temp: 71
Entry Visits: 886
Journal Visits: 153,398
Guestbook Views: 4,507
Guestbook Entrys: 223
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Done with one third of the trail
Day 50: Bearwallow Gap - VA 43
I hiked 21.6 miles today with a 1396 ft elevation change in 9 hours from Daleville VA to Bearwallow Gap - VA 43. At this point, I have hiked 749.1 total miles averaging 14.98 miles per day (including 0 days). ....
We woke with an alarm to ensure we could start at 7AM (Thanks Secret Agent!). Ren and I ate at the Super 8 and the rest of the trail family ate at the HoJo. We met promptly at 7AM at the Super 8 Lobby. I held us up by 5 minutes by putting on some toe grease that Bright Bags brought over. I'm not using tape on the bottom of my feet anymore because I think that is causing some plugged pores and making things worse. The AT is about 100 yards from the Super 8 parking lot, so we started our hike at 7:10AM.
The plan was to do 13.6 miles (for Ren) and about 15 for the rest of us because the Blue Ridge Parkway basically runs parallel to the AT. Well, when we got to lunch about 10 miles in at a shelter, we ran into Bombadil. He was slack packing Southbound today 21.6 miles back to the HoJo. He explained that the Blue Ridge Parkway road was closed due to bridge maintenance!
This caused a problem for us since Marci couldn't retrieve Ren at mile 13.6. The only way out for Ren was to continue the 21.6miles or take a side trail about 2 miles and get to another road where Marci could find him. This crossing was at Black Horse Gap. As we approached that, there was a lady on a horse. She explained that the dirt road she was on was the best way to get back to a road where Marci could pick him up. So, we ensured Ren had adequate water and some snacks. He contacted Marci via text with a pick-up GPS location and he started down the trail. He has done so much hiking in a short amount of time that his left knee was really bugging him on the downhill portions. I thought about going down with him to ensure he made it, but he said he was a big boy and would be fine. That solved my dilemma about skipping a few miles of the AT.
Before we split, Ren was leading the group which grouped us together for conversation. We learned all about Stitch's experiences in the Army. A random question was asked of the group: If you could have a single superpower, what would it be?
Bright Bags and Bevo said: Teleportation
Secret Agent said: Invisibility
Stitch said: flying
Ren said some word that meant he could use other people's powers.
Stitch, Secret Agent, Bright Bags, and I continued another 8 miles to VA-43 road crossing. At one point the group in front of us (which included a guy named Tortilla) left a note on the trail that said they saw a big rattlesnake on the trail. They left two notes (one on either side of where they saw the snake). We ran into them at a picnic table along the Blue Ridge Parkway and they showed us a video of it rattling. It was huge!
We kept crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway every mile or two. Since there was no traffic on the parkway, it would have been easier and more direct to simply hike right down the middle of the parkway on the double yellow lines. Of course, we did not do that... It was tempting though! The bridge by VA-43 is where the closed sign was.
Stitch has a blister under her moleskin on one of her feet. I have a blister that tried to start in the middle of my left foot. It couldn't form because that blister already has a rip in it. After watching the pain Ren was feeling today, I count my blessings that the only thing that hurts on me is my feet. I want them to callous over and stop trying to blister on me. Wilbur (my left foot with the college injury) hasn't had a whole lot of pain, but does flare up when I step on a pointy rock or object in just the right way. I can't really explain it, but there is a pivot point where if it bends there, it shoots a jolt of lightning pain into my entire foot. Stupid nerves!
In the last mile of today's hike, I asked my trail family to see if they could spot a downed tree with some easy to harvest bark sections. I'd like to try to make a shadow box with a white blaze in an 8"x11" glass frame from some AT bark. We were able to grab some pieces. Ren and Marci were kind enough to take them back to Austin for me. If they survive the trip, I'll try to be creative when I get home. I might need to consult a creative person (Marci).
Tortilla's dad was at our final road crossing for the day with Tortilla's dog. They were doing some trail magic while they waited for him and his crew. They were from Alabama.
They had sodas and donuts for us.
We headed back to the hotel where we showered and did laundry before going to Angells Diner for supper. I had salad, gumbo, and chicken Parmesan. Bright Bags finished my noodles after downing a 1 pound burger. It took him 6 minutes to eat his burger today. He said it was too hot. It slowed him down.
I asked the family what they thought Rens trail name should be. No decision was made, but these were on the short list: Rental (because he was here short term), Gimpy, Hobble-long, and Private Ryan (because we had to figure out how to rescue him today).
He was a real trooper in hiking as many miles as he did in such a short time period. We really appreciated all that he and Marci did for us in the past few days to help us on our journey.
Lastly, we have officially crossed the 1/3rd mark of the trail today. We took a goofy picture depicting 1/3 at a picnic table.
First: We finished all three bags of home made chocolate chip cookies that Deb sent to us just in time to hit the trail again tomorrow.
Equipment: I went without Leuko tape on my feet today. I had a blister that wanted to start again, but it couldn't because there was already a rip in the skin there. I'll give it a few more days and see what happens. I'm using some of the "Trail Toes" grease from Bright Bags between my toes. That seems to work well.
TMI: Bright Bags says jalapeo pizza burns on the way out also.
Life is eating 3 bags of chocolate chip cookies in 3 days.
BevoHi Appalachian Trail Journal
Are we there yet?
Just a mile.... mile and a half...
You can e-mail me at BevoHi@jedi.net to send words of encouragement or with questions.
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