Pearsburg (734.3) to (Bushcamp (657)
I stayed in a dorm room last night. Sharing with about 10 other people, some of which have all their gear stored in very loud, very crinkly plastic bags. People opening all these bags at all hours of the night left me rather tired by morning. Both Delicate Flower and I were ready to get out of town.
With limited choice of breakfast grub we found ourselves at Dairy Queen. Several coffees and a 1100 calorie Blizzard Milkshake later we hit the trail. The weather forecast was predicting rain for the next week, for now it was just overcast. Last night at the hostel there was a lot of discussion about the weather. It appears this has been a rather wet hiking season, well above average. Some hikers have had enough of the rain and seem ready to quit. I guess everyone has a point when enough is enough. There’s still plenty of hiking left for me.
The first couple of miles of hiking skirted an industrial factory and a stream with a sign that said, ‘Do not drink the water, not potable’. Not sure if the industry has anything to do with the contaminated stream. It could have been run off from farmland, I have no idea. It was a cool, overcast day. I wasn’t thirsty. The countless coffees earlier had me watering the bushes very often without needing to take on any other fluids.
By 2pm it started to drizzle. Not long after the rain settled in. On a lonely ridge I had cell phone service. It was predicted to rain the rest of the day and all the next day. Not much I could do but keep hiking. My umbrella served me well. I was able to hike for 4 hours in the rain and stay dry. Only my shoes and socks were wet. I’m real impressed by the umbrella, I just have to be a bit careful around tree branches, specially Rhododendrons.
I spent most of the day hiking alone, Delicate Flower was up ahead. I had lots of time to let my mind wander. Most people never experience time alone to let their mind wander and just think about things. It’s one of the pleasures of long distance hiking. When I’m sick of my own thoughts I listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks. Things are quite simple for me at the moment.
By late afternoon I caught up to my hiking buddy in the rain. I announced that I wanted to camp at the next available site, he wanted to hike onwards to the next shelter to try and dry out. I camped near Stoney Creek next to a bridge. The rain really started to get heavy after I set the tent up. I like falling asleep to the sound of rain in the walls of the tent. Good night.
NOTE – I am unable to add captions to photos due to a problem with the phone app I use to write this blog while hiking, sorry.