Tuesday, May 1, 2012

4.28.12 - 24 Mile Day, the 600 Mile Mark, and an Odd SoBo

After a challenging day of a rocky ridge and hiking 20 miles, we threw down our highest mile day yet at 24 miles. I got up pretty early and was ready to roll, but the other guys slept in a little longer, so I sat and ate my breakfast at the shelter and waited for them. We hiked about 5 miles of nice, hardly even rolling terrain to a really nice bridge over a river, getting rained on a little. Tarzan and I waited about 30 minutes, and Flosser showed up. He mentioned earlier that morning that his knee, shin, ankle, and pretty much whole leg was bothering him. Not fun hiking what we did (or anything for that matter) when you're in pain. I give him big props though. He still knocked out a 20 mile day the previous day. So when he met up with us, he said he wasn't feeling great with the pain, so we came up with a plan to meet up with him in Pearisburg. He would get a shuttle ride there and Tarzan and I would hike. We flagged down a passing truck and they offered to take him to Bland, VA.

At this point, it was around 11am and we were about 5 miles in. From there, Tarzan and I took off hiking and knocked out a total of 24 miles for the day, getting into Jenny's Knob Shelter by 6:30pm. That's some big miles and in good time too! Sore after that! We did come across 2 separate spots that had trail magic at one point, but the drinks were all gone.

When we got in, we started setting up our tents behind the shelter, when a long, crazy haired guy in all black came around and started asking how we like our tents, and talking to us awkwardly. We found out he's a southbounder, hiking from Maine to Georgia. We've heard that they are alone on the trail for a long time, so they love interaction when they get it. Maybe so, but this dude was just weird. To sum up some of the odd activities: talking about the most random things like his ancestors having shallow eye sockets, and that's why he does better in the cold and prefers to hike at night (even though he decided to stay the night), doing funny exercises in the shelter while we all ate and hung out around it, talking about saboteurs in the world including on the AT, ninjas, showing how he harnesses and focuses his energy inside him, etc. at one point before I went to bed, he walked up and asked if he could have my attention. I was nice and gave it to him. As he demonstrated (by yelling and waving his arms) how he harnessed and focused his energy and rage inside him, I stood there and tried not to laugh, while I could also hear the others around the fire saying that I took a bullet, took one for the team. They owe me!

Big day. Hoping Flosser can get back on the trail with us soon!

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