Trail Notes – September 27 (VA Roller Coaster, Bear’s Den Hostel)

My backpack yellow-blazed today without me, the treacherous collection of fabric and plastic snaps! I followed after, much more slowly, on foot.

Today’s 8 mile hike  featured a light day pack, beautiful blue skies, beautiful, if rocky, path, and a lot of whistling. The whistling was to let any potential bears know I was coming – a northbound thru-hiker I met yesterday reported hearing, but not seeing, bears along the section I was walking.

It still feels odd to be walking south, and to have the sun to my left in the morning and to the right in the afternoon, instead of the other way around. It offkilters me. Also, though today was bright and sunny instead of cloudy and misty, the woods still feel like they are hiding something. Like anything might jump out at any time. I stayed alert.
About 4 or 5 miles along, I entered Virginia’s infamous 13-mile ‘roller coaster’, so named because the terrain map looks like a rollercoaster’s rails, with steep ups and downs, and abrupt curves. Honestly, though, tackling it just after having finished Maine… the first few miles of it, at least, seemed rather tamer than I expected. Of course, I was slackpacking, that helped.

Tomorrow I will slackpack again – be dropped off 13 miles from here at a road crossing, and hike back. After which I will try to carry the full backpack the next day. 

Hiking made my ribs twinge in pain a lot, but on the scale of discomfort to incapacitating, it definitely fell a lot closer to discomfort. While hiking. After I reached the hostel and attended to things like shower and laundry, and moved my upper body more, the pain needle swung upwards sharply. I advilled up.

And then I ate. Oh, did I eat. Pasta, pizza, cake, ice cream, I ate like a hungry hiker. One who is, believe it or not, hungry again. And lying flat on her back to avoid moving.

I hike on!

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Trail Notes – September 27 (VA Roller Coaster, Bear’s Den Hostel)

  1. Amy MrsJoy Forinash

    FWIW I saw zero bears in Shenandoah this weekend on the Jeremy’s Run / Knob Mtn circuit hike. Or on Skyline drive. This was the only bear-free trip I can remember in years. Weird.

    How’s the water in the Rollercoaster? I need to pick a destination for my three-day weekend trip in October.


    • From Blackburn to Bear’s Den, everything was dry. South from Bear’s Den, 3 good flowing streams, a couple okay ones. It’s supposed to rain heavily tomorrow though.


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