May 19th – Buena Vista, VA

(Before anything else, I’ll let you know that my “Wildflowers” gallery has been updated with 20 additional shots – computer time and town time are so valuable, I can’t look any of them up right now.  I’d rather spend the time posting more, so if any of you can identify some of them, let me know!)

It’s Thursday, May 19th and the sun is finally shining.  At least off and on.  Today is our tenth day in a row with at least some rain.  Today, we hiked only 1.8 miles to a road that led us into Buena Vista, VA, and sure enough, it sprinkled on us for a couple of minutes.  The Roanoke Times published an article on their front page this AM about how soggy the trail is, and about how wet and smelly the hikers are.  It’s really bad when things don’t have a good chance to dry out.

But today (at long last) we got into a town early, checked into the Budget Inn and while waiting for a room we started our laundry.  In our rainsuits, we popped next door to a Subway and had foot-long breakfast sandwiches while our laundry was finishing.  We then showered and we hand washed every stuff bag from our packs (why put clean stuff into a smelly bag?).  We strung up a clothesline in the room, and hung the bags to dry.  My sleeping bag is now carabinered to the top of the curtain rod, unzipped, with the air conditioner blowing right into it.  The bag will get completely dry, I’m sure, and maybe some Febreeze is in its future.

This time, we’re doing the town experience right; get into town in the early AM, get the laundry and showers out of the way first, enjoy whatever the town has to offer (like a library with fast computers!), do the resupply shopping, and leave the town the next morning (instead of in the evening).  Leaving in the evening has been a psychological drag.  The way we’re doing it this time (and henceforth, whenever we can work it out), there will be a clean break between town duties and hitting the trail.  We’ve already arranged for a shuttle at 8 AM tomorrow to bring us the 9.3 miles up the road to where we left the trail, so that we’ll just get up, pack up, eat, and go!  No dreary “I forgot to do this,” or “I need more computer time,” or “I don’t really want to go yet!” and so on.  Let the night-time be the line that cleanly separates our two realities.

Despite the rain, fog and general grayness and dampness, we’re in high spirits.  The folks on the trail and off have been tremendous, and someone always has a funny story in the evening about something that’s happened along the way.

We’re finding that simple commonalities that go unnoticed in everyday off-trail life can be real gems of pleasure.  It might be tough for a non-hiker to imagine what delight a simple thing like a pair of dry socks can bring!

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9 Responses to May 19th – Buena Vista, VA

  1. Been wondering how you 2 were doing?
    Haven’t seen any trail posts in awhile.

    When you do your computering do you check on the news in the world outside of the APPY?

    Cuzz the weather guy on Rochester’s channel 13 last night reported that there has been 11 inches of rain already making this month the wettest in history.
    And May is not over for a couple more weeks.
    The weather guy also reported there is more to come before the month is over.
    Goes to show your not alone with the wet weather.

    The Lilac Festival was canceled 3 days in a row because of the rain.
    The first time that has ever happened in their 34 year history.

    But thank God we don’t live anywhere near the Mississippi River

    At what geographical location will you 2 be half way?

    I’m very happy to see you are still plugging along on your adventure.
    As alway my prayer for you both is to keep being safe.

    • Mike says:

      We don’t get much chance to check on news and weather unless we’re in town on a low mileage (“nero”) day. Too bad about the lilac festival. We sure got our share of the rain! As always, thanks for staying tuned in!

      The “psychological” halfway point is Harper’s Ferry, VA but the real halfway point is slightly into Pennsylvania.

  2. christopher says:

    Yo RainMan… and RainMaid…, Kudos for “walking off” the monsoons.
    As said so well by Perry, last commenter, we’ve had a bit here in RocCity,
    but, thankfully, nothing like the folks along the Miss., the real seals.
    Sorry missed your call (this old timer has yet to learn to text).
    This Saturday is supposed to be a lone sunny one for past & future weeks;
    but am of opinion that all will be well/sunny as we get to Memr’l. wkend.
    Just think how nice that’ll feel? (read as warm/dry/fresh/clear!)
    But you’ll have to part company with old stinkers mold & mildew.
    Thanks for the posts; nice shadowing you. thoughts/prayers with you often.
    venture to guess that you’re getting quite comfortable with walking meditations.
    happy trails…

  3. Darren says:

    staring at the Doppler map of the whole country has looked like staring into a stand mixer while it’s going. it’s been raining everywhere for a long time!

  4. Val P. says:

    Mike — I especially liked your comment about enjoying the “simple commonalities that go unnoticed in everyday off-trail life”. As I read it, I couldn’t help but wonder what life would be like if we could learn to always be aware of and appreciate the little things in our lives that are right and good, like having dry socks, even when we haven’t just spent a week hiking our own personal “Appalachian Trail” in the rain.

  5. SusanS says:

    Sorry about all the rain but glad your spirits are high. I had a great time in CA with Mom, Deb and Jan. We gave Mom a great Mother’s Day party! The roses were in full bloom at the Burbank House and Gardens and I got some great shots of them and also of the humans. You’ll have to see them sometime. Keep on having a great time!
    Love, Susan

  6. Warren Kuhfeld says:

    Hi Mike and Mel,
    It was nice to meet you two on May 29 at the Tom Floyd shelter, 1/2 mile north of the border of Shenandoah National Park. Have a wonderful and safe trip to Katahdin!
    Warren and Donna

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