Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Stumble Tribe takes on VA

So after our Memorial Day vacation when we had to hang around watching movies and making white wine sangria to kill time before the Post Office opened to get our mail drops, (rough life, I know), we headed back out on the trail.  We started off doing small miles, 10-12, instead of our 15-18, because it has been SO HOT.  When we left Daleville it was 101 degrees, humid and horrible.  But we valiantly struggled up the mountain to the shelter.  4-Beards had packed in some Miller Light, so we hung out in the heat, talked, laughed, made dinner, etc.  Then, around midnight, just as we were getting in our sleeping bags, Velvet (who was in his tent) said, "Um, guys? I think we have a bear."  And sure enough, after we bolted from our bags, and Laugh Track got out her handy "Surefire defender" we rounded the shelter, and there was a bear. Looking at us. Without the slightest trace of fear.  Awesome.  Data banged some trekking poles together, and Laugh Track yelled a lot, and finally after just ambling along for a while, the bear finally mosied down the hill, back into the wilderness.  Needless to say, I may or may not have gotten much sleep that night, although Laugh Track was loving every second of it, and wanted the bear to come BACK.  Remind me again why I decided to do this trip with a psycho?  haha, so that was our adventure for that day.  Did some miles the next day, and got our COOLEST hitch yet, on the back of a motorcycle, through the Blue Ridge Parkway. Amazing views, wind whipping through our hair, incredible.  After declining to go to the next shelter, we set up camp on the top of Cove Mt. and had a very domestic night, hanging up a clothesline, building a fire, cooking dinner, catching up in our was very nice. We made it to a swimming hole the next day at noon, and didn't leave till....6:30.  It was too hot to do anything but lounge around in the pool, watching the fish, eating lunch, splashing, tanning, everything you would expect from a swimming hole.  Around 4 we got a hitch to a campground about 2 miles away where we got burgers and soda and popsicles.  Finally we decided we should do something, like walk north, so we started up Fork Mt. -  a very unforgiving hill, to the COOLEST shelter, Bryant Ridge, 3 floors, sleeps 20, clean.  It was super buggy so we set up our tent inside the shelter with Stretch and 4-Beards after drawing a lot in the shelter register...  Our next day we started calling D-Day, as in Death Day, since the map of the mountains we had to traverse looked like a very good year for a finantial firm.  But with many "checkpoints" and a 2 hour long lunch, we made it over the worst of it, up to the top of Apple Orchard Mt, and down to "The Guillotine" an awesome balanced rock tunnel we had to pass under.  We got into Glasgow last night, set up our tent at a shelter they have in the center of town, met up with Catalyst and Bandit again, stocked up of junk food for the night, drank a LOT of chocolate milk, sang camp songs in front of the grocery store for an hour, and finally ended the day drinking wine (classy) in our tent while telling ghost stories.  Today we head out to jump off an old railroad bridge into the James River - a rite of passage for all thru hikers - and head up to Buena Vista to catch some movies, hit up Franks for the Memories, and stumble over a terrifying mountain eminence, accurately named, The Priest.  Shout out to Mama Laugh, hoping she has mastered her knee scooter!  We miss everyone and can't wait to see them when we get up north!  You can hike but you can't hide!!!!!

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