Trail Notes – September 28 (VA Roller Coaster, Bear’s Den Hostel)

Yes, I pancaked this morning. I syruped and cantalouped as well. It was very tasty, even if the pancakes were a premade mix. There was coffee, too.

And two very kind trail angels, MaryAnn and Judy, who gave me a ride to the VA 50 parking lot, 13.5 miles away. I hit the trail about 10 am, and made very good time for the first 10 miles. The trail was stunningly and wonderfully easy for a very long time. Sometimes it was rocky, and I was doing 2 mph. Sometimes I was flying at 3 mph. During the 3 mph times though, my ribs would occasionally hurt, just to remind me if I really had been flying, I wouldn’t have gotten hurt!

The trail is a lot more lonely these days, but there were some I passed, it wasn’t empty. It was a beautiful day for hiking, as well.

Things changed, unfortunately, about 3:30-4pm; it got cloudy first, then foggy, then rainy. The trail got wet and slippery, just as I approached the hardest part of the Roller Coaster, and just as I was getting tired. I began stumbling more, and every jolt sent a shock of pain up my ribs. 3 miles of biting my lip and hiking on, because after all, what else could I do?

I reached Bear’s Den at 5:30, and advilled up, changed into dry clothes, and MaryAnn, Judy, and I went out for excellent hamburgers. And BEER. Things are much better now, but I need to think. 14 miles with a light pack was too much, but it was over the Roller Coaster, which has some of the toughest terrain in VA. And it’s done with. But still.

Seems like I will have the whole day tomorrow to think about it, too. The clouds are supposed to dump up to 2 inches of rain tonight and tomorrow night, and tomorrow, up to 3 inches. I’m not eager about hiking in a waterfall. I know I need to make mileage, but God keeps throwing all these obstacles in the path. Maybe I should listen. 

I pause and think. 

Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Trail Notes – September 28 (VA Roller Coaster, Bear’s Den Hostel)

  1. Rebecca

    I’m sorry you’re having these challenges. That rib does NOT sound fun. How far are you from the halfway point of the Trail? Perhaps that could be your goal (or at least an intermediate goal, with the option to reassess when you get there)?


    • I have already done more than half – the northern section is about 180 miles longer than the southern, and I am 33 miles into VA as well.


      • Rebecca

        Ah, then maybe some other percentage of Trail completion or maybe reaching a special landmark is the way to go? Just thinking out loud. 🙂 If there’s one thing I know about you, it’s that you will “hike your own hike.” You will find a solution that you like!


  2. Amy MrsJoy Forinash

    It sounds like it was pretty good until you got tired and then you crashed – physically and spiritually. Better to plan on doing some shorter days while you’re healing. If you avoid passing your current limit everything will be nicer.


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