When we last left Adventure Girl, she was settling in Erwin, TN. Her plans were to enjoy a 0-mile hike day by watching a marathon of movies – VHS style. VHS stands for Video Home System. VHS predates DVD and Blu-Ray players. Ask your parents, if you don’t understand. Just remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. In fact, while keeping up with Adventure Girl’s travels, I had to ask “What does slack-pack mean?” In a minute, I’ll share that answer with you.
First, let the record show, Adventure Girl’s preplanned Mail Drop locations put her in Damascus, VA on April 14th. Readers, start your engines. Wait. Sorry. Readers, check your calendars. Today is April 9th. Our Adventure Girl is making some serious time and putting some serious miles behind her. Let’s give it up for Adventure Girl! Youth is a wonderful thing, eh?
Over the course of this past week, Adventure Girl traveled from Erwin, TN to Damascus, VA. Folks, Adventure Girl traveled 115 miles in a week. Do the math. (Seriously, I’m not good at math. You do it.) She covered approximately 16 miles a day! However, based on her journal, she traveled 28.7 miles one day and 17 miles another day, so clearly the calculator I used is broken. Suffice it to say, Adventure Girl is ahead of schedule and continues to pound the trail at lightning speed.
Speaking of lightning, earlier this week we were hit with a line of thunderstorms and heavy winds. Come to find out, Adventure Girl was hit with the same line of inclement weather shortly after we were hit. She writes, “We awoke the next morning to a breezy, but warm day. I thought it was going to be the perfect day to climb over little hump and big hump, but as it turns out what had been a breeze at the shelter turned into a seemingly hurricane force wind. I have never been in wind that strong in my life. The gusts were literally blowing me off course. Climbing up those balds against the wind was one of the hardest things I have encountered the entire trip. The views from the balds were awesome though! It was such a clear day and the views were 360 degrees. It was awesome! Even the wind became fun and entertaining once I had reached the top and begun the descent.”
Adventure Girl was spared the lightening and thunder, though the winds proved enough of a challenge. The rain arrived later that night, but she had already hunkered down in the shelter, so she dodged the wet stuff. That is until morning, “We awoke to snow. Yup it went from 80 degrees to snowing the very next day. TN is such a bi-polar place with a serious lack of privies.” I love her line about TN being such a bi-polar place. Adventure Girl is a hiker extraordinaire, as well as a budding writer!
As I mentioned earlier, this week’s journey ended in Damascus, VA. Adventure Girl spent the night in a cabin obtained by her parents. My brother and his wife drove up to Damascus to spend one night with their Northbounder daughter. As her journey takes her further north, quick visits from her family will become few and far between. Still, my money is on Adventure Girl.
Finally, what does slack-pack mean? Slack-pack is defined as hiking a section of a trail without a fully loaded backpack, giving the hiker the option to carry only what s/he needs for a typical day hike. During her hike this week, a hostel owner agreed to slack-pack the gang over Roan Mountain. The gang left non-essentials at the starting point of the day, and the hostel owner met the gang on the other side of Roan Mountain with the left non-essentials. Adventure Girl – what a slacker!