Getting back on the trail after a zero day is always tough. But it’s even tougher when you take five or so days off, as was the case with me last weekend. And then it’s even tougher when you get rained on every day. So, needless to say, it was awesome to have Matt come out for a couple of days to hike with me. Here is The Googan gearing up before the hike – he’s got a machete. I had my tomahawk. No bears would mess with us.
Originally, I had proposed to do about 42 miles over two and a half days. Something like two 16’s and a ten or something like that. Instead, we wound up doing the 45 miles in two days, and Matt left early on the third (Sunday). So we did a 23 and a 19. Needless to say, that is a whole lot of miles in two days, but Matt gutted it out. We saw a couple of good views early on the first day, McAfee Knob and the Tinker Cliffs. Here is The Googan on McAfee Knob, and one of me:
Then we battled through most of the day to wind up in Daleville, where we ate a really good dinner at a bbq joint. After stuffing our faces, we planned to hike a couple of miles out of town to some campsite. However, upon getting to where we planned to camp, we discovered that the trail for the next mile cut through a narrow corridor of private land – meaning we would find no campsite there. I know you’re probably thinking that’s not a big deal, just keep walking until you find a site. But when you are at 20+ miles on the day, each mile seems like five. The Googan was definitely in this phase. After leaving the private land and not finding any good camp sites for a half mile or so, he asked me “Dude, are we in trouble?!”
One of my favorite questions. The answer of course was no. But that’s the mindset you have when you pull long days – they’re hard. Luckily we found a pretty awesome camp site about a half mile later and we settled down for a nice firefly spectacle that night.
So The Googan finished out his excursion with a few blisters and some soreness, but his mind power intact. We pulled some big time long days, and he gutted through them like a champ. It was a blast having him out there, and a huge morale booster for me. Now Paul is up next!
Some other pictures from when The Googan was here:
I caught a toad, my brethren:
The Googan caught a newt, his brethren: