Last night I came to the horrible conclusion that I had my bounce box with my computer in it at the town of Waynesboro. I desperately needed to access some files on there to email back home. The problem is, Waynesboro is 85 miles away and it’s Tuesday. I need to spend most of the day on the computer so I really need to get there Thursday night. As the post office is not open on Saturday I need to make some miles today or slow right down and chill out. I decided to accept the challenge and try and throw down some big miles. Let’s hope my sore knee doesn’t mind.
I woke before the sun and started hiking at sunrise. The first couple of hours on trail were tranquil. Just me and the calls of the rising birds.
The first 7 miles or so was downhill to the large James River. There used to be a tradition, maybe it still happens, even though it illegal, to jump of the walkway bridge into the river. The is a bridge across the river just for hikers, how cool is that. I didn’t join mo off the bridge into the chocolate brown river that could have concealed a stray log or two.
My pace for the morning was crazy. I was passing hikers like I was a trail runner. By midday I’d hiked almost 16 miles. The sore knee was all but forgotten. Unconsciously I was favouring my left knee. I only realised this while climbing the sometimes steep climb out of James River. That’s when I caught up to Delicate Flower hiking the opposite direction. He was slack packing this section. I told him of my plan to hike fast into Waynesboro. He might join me, he is unsure.
I continued with the pace into the afternoon, getting slower and more tired with each passing hour. The long distances between water sources led to a miscalculation on my part and mild dehydration. A long rest and several litres of water cured my dilemma for the time being.
I continued sipping water and eating snacks often into the afternoon. My body was slowing down. I reached the 30 mile mark part way up a 2500 foot hill. There was no way I was going to reach the top. With 45 minutes till sunset I found a flat spot next to the trail. I was done. I ate and hydrated as best I could. I looked at my map, over 8000 feet of climbing today, that’s crazy. Now I’m unsure if I can continue with this pace.
I rather annoyed I can’t easily at captions to my photos. Note the last photo is a screen shot of my guthook app that I use to navigate the trail. The penultimate photo is me in my tent rather exhausted.