Day 58 -May 4 2017 – 13.7 miles – Partnership Shelter to Davis Hollow
Stoat, Zeus, Flashfire and I were up a little before most of the other hikers. We made our way over to the road to catch the shuttle into town. While we were waiting, a guy driving a pickup truck offered us a ride into town.
When we got to town we went to the supermarket to resupply and then went to McDonalds to get a second breakfast. Scarecrow and Grumpy were there, and Turkey and Godzilla showed up as we were about to eat.
Godzilla and Turkey never planned to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, but now that the time had come, they really didn’t want to leave. Godzilla was low on funds and Turkey had to prepare for his upcoming CPA exam. There was no way around it. After hiking 532.6 miles their journey was coming to an end.
Hugs were given all around. Godzilla and Turkey were a little choked up. So were we. We didn’t say goodbye though. Thru hikers don’t say that. We said, “See you down the trail.”
After we caught the shuttle back to the trail head we hit the trail running. Literally running. We didn’t get back onto the trail until 11:30 and we wanted to make up a little time.
There was a 1000 foot, 2.5 mile descent that we ran down as a group. It was a stupid thing to do. It was rocky (for Virginia) and any wrong move could prove disastrous. We even said so while we were doing it. Yet we did it anyway and we did it well. We were testing our trail legs and we couldn’t help but be amazed at what they were capable of.
We stopped at the Chatfield Shelter for a snack. The group that ran down the trail consisted of Stoat, myself, Zeus, Grumpy, and Scarecrow. Flashfire attempted to follow suit but fell a little behind. Flashfire was normally a little faster than everyone but, she had had an ankle injury that she was wary of injuring again. I don’t think running down a rocky mountain was one of her strong suits either way. When she got to the shelter she vented her frustration by throwing her water bottle down and saying “I am sports woman! I should not be so behind!”
A few miles later we came across and old farm that had been turned into a museum. Flashfire was just a little behind so we fashioned an arrow from some branches and left it on the trail. She found it and met back up with us. The museum wasn’t open at the time but we walked around a little anyway.
After the farm we got to a little one room school house. The school house was famous on the trail because a local church stocked the place with trail magic. They had soda, snacks, and toiletries.
After leaving the schoolhouse we made our way to the town of Atkins. Passing through many fields along the way. It was a nice change of scenery.
Once we got to Atkins we went to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo early with a few margaritas. When we got there we found out they didn’t serve alcohol. So we decided to eat at the Barn instead.
After we ate dinner we hiked another 2.1 miles to the Davis Hollow Campsite. We were still moving at a fast rate. I happened to be in the front of the group which was not the norm. It was a cool feeling to be the first in line of a pack of fast moving hikers. I felt like I was simultaneously being pushed by everyone to go faster while also going fast to help pull everyone else along.
Soon we climbed over a cattle fence and arrived at Davis Hollow camping area.
As I was setting up my hammock another hiker named Candles asked if I could help him with his hammock. He had just switched from a tent to a hammock a had a few questions. I was pretty tired but I tried to help out as best as I could.
Over the course of the day we got to know Flashfire a little better. She was a lot of fun. I was glad to hear her say that she was having a great time. It was her first time in the US and it was nice to know her first impressions of county were good ones.
Journal entry excerpt 5/4/2017 –
“Flashfire is a lot of fun. I am glad she is having a good time because coming from Germany and not having a good time would be terrible!”