Thursday, October 18, 2007

Are you VA-jellin'? or Virginia Wolfe meets Dr. Sholes. or VA, VA, VA, boom.

Man, can I move slow when I don't want to. I've "Virginia creeper"-ed along, managing to break 50 mile weeks for the last two weeks or so. I've recently visited with, or stayed with friends and/or family of friends a few times, taken a side road trip, been stricken with the common cold, and developed a possibly pus-filled pocket in one of my perambulation providers (got a cyst or some other fun-filled bump in my knee).

Thanks guys who put me up for the night! It was greatly appreciated. Home cooked food and hot baths (yes, more than one!) are so much better when you get them after a long wait (so far about 4 1/2 months on the trail).

I took a 200 mile detour back to Gettysburg with a couple other hikers to go to a long distance hiker gathering. It's strange to go so fast, especially backward to places I didn't think I'd see again until much later. Off in the distance from Gettysburg, you can see the mountains we walked across headed south on the trail. Luckily, we didn't have to walk back.

Somewhere along the line I picked up a cold and just didn't have the wind to keep walking all day. I popped off to a hotel just outside of the Shenandoahs for a few days to recover.

I have a bubble in my left knee! Who knows what's in there, but we may find out soon. I'll try to take pictures, cause I hear it could get colorful, and fountain-like. Looking forward to jabbing it with something sharp. Just waiting for a large enough audience.

Last night, my tent pole broke in two places. Yes I was sober, and paying attention this time. Mountain Hardware is sending a replacement at my next trail stop. I've never had such good service... It took about 2 minutes to get everything taken care of; very painless. Very happy.

I'm having a blast with the banjo... getting OK at a couple of songs, and close to being able to sing one... right now, I can only say the song rather than sing it.

I saw 4 more bears... total = 7. And all of them ran away, proving hiker smell beats bear aggression.

I'm in another Waynesboro (this time in VA), at the 1325 mile marker on the trail. So only another 848 miles to go.

there is still so much to tell that I can't get out in these 20 minute computer time slots. May be staying in town another night... so possibly another edition tomorrow.

Ciao, and miss all you guys. Just not enough to come back yet :) Oh... and a teaser... I may have figured out what to do when I'm done walking (besides sitting down for a long time). Until next time, I'm mostly still walking, and always still having a blast!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Half and half

So, I've officially made it half way. Whether you count miles, or traditional "middle" markers. I'm tired. My feet hurt nearly as much as they smell. I'm still loving it.

Latest adventures:

Was introduced to the wild world of Sheetz, the gas station of the future. They have every flavor of soda on tap (via a machine named "the fizzanator"), and about 20 flavors of cappuccino (via a machine I've dubbed "the cappuccinator"). Also, you can't order anything directly from a person, except cigarettes. Everything else goes through a machine... and don't even think about asking how to use the machine. No substitutions, no exception! Fun, but at least a large coffee cost 52 cents (same price as a small, for some thinks the machine was hosed up, or the human at the register was hosed up).

On leaving Wyanesboro, I stopped for a drink. It was my birthday for crying out loud! Turned out to be a great idea. Got free food and drink. Ran the pool table for a while. Had the whole bar singing "Happy Birthday". Finally, had to walk two miles of road back to the trail at 2 in the morning, and planted my sleeping bag just off the trail because the combination of rocks, dark, and booze wasmore conducive to shin and knee brusing than long distance walking. I did have offers for rides back to the trail head... but beer sounded better than leaving on someone else's schedule. So, welcome to the list folks from the last tavern in Wyanesboro; prepare for eye strain!

Had a great meal just off the trail... about $100 a head. Was worth it just to crash the wedding that was going on in the same place at the same time :) Nothing like mixing knee high smelly socks with tuxedos, and wicking t-shirts with cumberbunds, dusty black fleece vests with white flowing gowns. As we left, we borrowed some excess half and half containers from the reception area for coffee back in camp. If the newly wed couple's union is half as good as the bond between the first half and the second half of half and half, then they should last at least 10 days in the sun.

And that does it for now... folks are eyeing me in this hostel outside of Harpers Ferry... Ciao, until later ;)