Saturday, October 08, 2005

DC and more rain

I had a chance to explore the Native American museum. It was very nice. They covered most of the major tribes in the Americas. I really enjoyed the modern art portion of the museum as it felt native but looked modern. It was a very interesting blend.

The weather has been very wet the past few days. In fact, it has not totally stopped raining until tonight. I wanted to revisit the Solar Decathalon but it was jsut too rainy, wet and muddy to deal with. As it was, it took all day for my feet to finally dry off. My pant legs dried off relatively fast but the sandals took much longer. I opted to forgo socks and did not know if that helped of hindered the drying process. My feet were very itchy this evening.

I stopped in at Borders Books. Big mistake. I bought some books that I will have to figure out how to pack with my gear when I leave. I did pick up the latest Great Big Sea album and Waking Ned Devine. My kind hosts had never seen it so I picked it up and we watched it. They loved it and it was nice to see it again. It is a really great movie.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Washington DC and the solar decathalon

No more day count as the hiking is over. The adventure still continues. I was out exploring DC. I came out of the metro here to go to the Smithsonian museum and there was a Solar Decathalon occuring on the mall green. It was nice to see it and great to see that the only Canadian team was Concordia, my home university and UofM. I explored the museum of Natural History then explored many of the solar homes set up. They were very nice but some of the layouts were not to my liking. It was all very fascinating and I would like to go back to see the ones that were not yet open either because of the contest or construction not yet finished. The weather was also very rainy. I was soaked as my rain coat is only a thin windbreaker. Due to yet another hurricane or tropical storm, it is going to rain like this at least tomorrow and possibly longer. I have more museums to see tomorrow.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Washington DC 6Oct05 Day112

Having spent the night, mostly sleepless, thinking about my aches and pains, I decided it was a good time to finish. 7 miles from the shelter was a good stopping point and I was going to have a nice climb out of a gap. All in all it was a spectacular last day. The climb was great and I felt good but achy. The weather was rainy, and misty rather like my fitst day of this adventure only warmer. I was glad I did the 7 miles and I am happy to be off the trail. It will alsways be here for me to finish and I will finish it in sections if need be. But by leaving earlier than the end has left me in a positive mode about hiking, backpacking and camping which is great. I feel like I am already planning out my next adventure and it will be closer to home.

I am now in the DC area and I will have a chance to explore some of the museums over the next few days thanks to the kindness of the people I met on the trail. I am also in healing mode. I need sleep, rest and veggies. I find I missed fresh fruit and vegetables on the trail so I will likely be loading up the next while. I will also be trying to keep weight off my knees, back and foot. They are the worst of my injuries. My back only hurts after wearing a pack, I think I may have wrenched it after tripping one time to many with the same foot. The knees always hurt, expecially after sitting still for long periods of time and my foot may have a stress fracture so it is only rare intermitent pain but makes it difficult to go over rocky spots for extended periods. Basically, I feel the trail will always be there for me to finish but if I damage my body I may not be able to finish. I feel I have stopped before any major damage has been done. Everything will heal with a little care and stretching.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pass Mountain Hut 5Oct05 Day111

Last night the weather looked threateningso it was no big surprise to wake up to rain. It was mostly done by morning and was dripping from the trees. Although I made good time, the miles seemed to be hard earned. The body has definitely decided it has had enough. I will try to finish the trail up to Waynesboro and try to enjoy the pace.

This shelter claims it has kissing trees and sure enough, there are two trees that appear to be kissing. I snapped a photo. It is very interesting. Like 2 warts on the sides of the tree reached out and met.

I rolled into camp in pain from my foot. There were 2 section hikers sprawled out and cooking supper over the fire. Too bad the fire was so smokey as it was nice to have. They ended up putting it out because of the smoke. They also tried to feed me but I held out and ate some weight from my food bag. At least I finished off the salad dressing and most of the wraps plus I finished off the last of the peanut butter earlier for lunch. Not sure what disagreed at lunch time, the last of the pb, all the nutella I had with the pb or the Sobe someone bought for me. They also gave me honey in a glass jar for its healing properties.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Gravel Springs Hut 4Oct05 Day110

I ended up taking a zro here at eh hut even though we are only allowed to stay one night. My back and knees needed the rest. Also, it let me get away from the snoring concert of last night. I spent most of the day alone which was nice. There is only one other person here and he is camping. Hopefully I ate enough food today to lighten the load. I also hope a day of rest will put that bounce back into my step.

I tried very unsuccessfully today to try to get a fire going. I even tried ripping a few pages out of my notebook and they seemed to not want to burn but rather slowly smolder and blacken. I eventually got it going with some help. Also, the area has been picked rather bare of branches so only tiwgs and logs were available and only long logs. It was rahter awkward and annoying. But it was nice to have a fire. Now everything smells like campfire.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Gravel Springs Hut 3Oct05 Day109

Only 10 miles today and it seemed like it took forever. The terrain was quite nice with few rocks and easy climbs. I think my pack, heavy from resupply and my back are slowing me down. Tomorrow is a 13.7 mile day but I am considering doing a zero here. First I need a rest but second reason is that the shelter is bulging today with a group of weekenders. Since I can't pull ahead I am thinking of falling behind. I will see how I feel tomorrow. Company is good but silence is golden.

Today was a change. I had some very nice views. I took some pictures and filled up the memory card so I switched out to a fresh card. The next few days should give me more good views.

Not much to write about. I have been thinking about home a lot lately. I am still not sure what I want to do when I get back but the first thing would be to get a full body massage. I would also want to sleep in and not have to get up early. I am wondering if it is time to go home. I really want to finish but the pain is starting to keep me from enjoying the trail. I can always come back and finish the rest as a section hike. I have 942 miles to go. 1232 miles completed.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Tom Floyd Wayside 2Oct05 Day108

I was supposed to do 18 miles today but the best laid plans get left by the wayside when they encounter the real world. Since I forgot to get TP on my last resupply, I had to go into Front Royal for some or use leaves. Opting for the familiar comforts of TP, I went into town and got TP, resupplied and tried to take the pitures off my camera. I say tried because it was going to take ahile to select all 240 of 360 some odd phots as the cd would only accept 240. I opted to just buy a new memory stick. It is only 128mb but it will be more than enough. I did end up getting was too much food and I was struggling to do the 3 miles to the next shelter. I did eat really well today though. I may still be heavy tomorrow but I am only going 10 miles. I plan on trying to take my time though the SNP as my back as been bothering me and so has the rest of my body. If I am not doing better or at least enjoying myself more by Waynesboro, I might as well get off as there is no enjoyment in hiking with pain. It may mean I am stuck travelling with 2 section hikers for awhile as they are also not going fast. Unfortunately one is a snorer so I am putting earplugs in for now. I miss the crickets and frogs and other night noises.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Jim & Molly Denton Shelter 1Oct05 Day 107

The best part of today was the apple trees. I came across two apple trees in a large field and it was a special treat. I had a hard time getting the apples as the lower branches had been picked clean. Also some of the apples had worm holes.

Today was relatively easy mostly because there were few rocks on the trail. I did have trouble with water. This morning, the water from the shelter spring was cloudy and smelled terrible. I treated some of it but it still smelled bad to the point where I didn't want to drink it. I decided to hold out until the frist stream but it smelled too. In the end I had to wait until the first spring which was 7 miles away. Needless to say, I was quite thirsty when I got there.

This shelter is quite nice. Most of the shelters lately have been quite nice. There are also 4 other gals staying here. Very different being surrounded by women when most of the people on the trail are guys.

Tomorrow I enter the Shenandoah National Park. The shelters are spaced at odd distances apart meaning either doing 15 miles or 25 miles.