When we last left Adventure Girl, she had hung her backpack up for the night somewhere near Bland, VA. Since then, she’s traveled about a hundred miles closer to her destination of Mount Katahdin, ME. Of course, she’s still has half of to Virginia cover and months of hiking ahead of her.
Months of hiking. Are you grasping that fact? Months. Not hours; not days; not weeks; months. Go ahead. I’ll give you a moment to think about it.
Adventure Girl updated her trail journal on Monday of this week. During the update, she was located at the Woods Hole Hostel. Adventure Girl began by saying the period between Damascus, VA and Woods Hole, VA was eventful. She noted that not all the events were good ones. Even through the challenging hike, she maintains a positive outlook and a great sense of humor.
While passing through highlands in Grayson, VA she came to a herd of ponies. She writes, “[We] saw all the ponies, which was AWESOME! One started licking the salt off of my legs and followed me everywhere I went, which was so cute! I must say, I was more than a little jealous of the ponies. Day hikers kept giving the ponies apples… I would have done so many things to have been given an apple… I seriously considered getting down on all fours just to see what would happen.”
I can imagine the jealousy I’d have, while watching apples being freely handed out to the ponies, as my stomach gurgled and I had miles of hiking ahead of me.
In addition to playing with the ponies, Adventure Girl did some night hiking. Again quoting from her journal, Adventure Girl writes “So we set our alarm clocks for 3 A.M. When 3 A.M. rolled around I began to seriously regret the decision, as all I wanted to do was go back to sleep. But I sucked it up, and crawled out of my bag anyways. We began the hike with The Diva leading the way, but he is notorious for taking wrong turns, and not too long after we started he tried to go the wrong way. Fortunately, we realized the mistake and didn’t lose any ground. Then it was my turn to lead. I was not so lucky… I am ashamed to admit I somehow lead us down the wrong trail and no one behind me caught my mistake until we reached a sign that said “Appalachian Trail 1 mile ->” Oops! So it was starting to look like the 30 mile day was going to be more than a 30 mile day… To top off the night hiking experience Butter’s headlamp… yeah it’s pretty much useless in the dark. She had to have someone hiking close behind and in front of her to be able to even slightly see the trail. Despite all of these hindrances, I absolutely LOVED night hiking. I can’t wait until Butter gets a new head lamp and we can do more. Its thrilling!”
A few miles off course in the middle of the night is not enough to deter Adventure Girl and her Adventure Crew!
As I noted earlier, Adventure Girl made a point to say not all the events were good events during this particular stretch of the hike. As it turns out, The Diva was experiencing shin problems. He decided to sit out a 10 mile stretch, in hopes his shins would recover. Unfortunately, when Adventure Girl met up with The Diva, he informed her he was heading home.
When Adventure Girl started this journey, she was not dependent on any particular hiking partner. The further she traveled, the more hikers she met. The more hikers she met, the more she found hikers with her same pace. The Diva was one of those hikers. And, with a relatively short time, Adventure Girl found a friend in The Diva. One might be surprised to read the emotion in her words as she writes, “The next morning we headed to the Exxon for breakfast and that’s when The Diva broke the news… He was heading home to heal. I will admit I began to tear as I left the parking lot… I am sucker for goodbyes. I hiked fast to try and out run my emotions. It didn’t work… I didn’t cry, but I definitely wasn’t happy… The hiking a gorgeous and I kept thinking it was, so sad that The Diva was missing it. Near the end of the day though there was trail magic, and it was just what I needed to brighten my day. I had fresh PB&J sandwich and a Dr. Thunder. It was just what I needed. I ended the day in my tent, in honor of The Diva who claimed I was a shelter [hog], and he’s right I am…”
Adventure Girl ended her journal, announcing she made a decision which college to attend in the Fall. I admit, I’m proud to tell you, she’ll be attending my Alma mater. Adventure Girl will start classes in Athens, GA at The University of Georgia. Go Scholar Girl!
Before donning her collegiate cap, Adventure Girl continues to don her backpack; though tonight, she rests somewhere near Carvins Cove Reservoir outside of Roanoke, VA. Keep on keeping on, Adventure Girl!