Thursday, July 5, 2001

day 54, Reeds Gap, VA (Rusty's)

Start:  The Priest Shelter
End:  Reeds Gap (Rusty's Hard Time Hollow)
Miles:  15.3 today, 832.2 total

I can tell that I'm starting to get this hiking thing down.  All the routines.  The wake-up, pre-hike routine, the end-of-the-day post-hike routine, pumping water, using the stove.  And hiking seems to be easier, too.  My blisters have calmed down, at least for the time being.  So, in general, it's getting easier.  The only downside is that I'm not always sure whether someone will be at the next shelter.

It was awesome - today I got up after 6:30am, but I took my time getting out of camp.  Sometime around 10, Big Toe and Q-tip came rolling in off the trail.  They'd already hiked the X number of miles from Seely Woodworth to The Priest.  And I hadn't done squat!  And then later Grasshopper strolls in on a slackpacking jaunt.  Turns out we're all headed to Rusty's.  So then, finally, we start hiking.

The directions to Rusty's say to turn left onto the fire road right after the Maupin Field Shelter.  Somehow Grasshopper missed the turn and walked all the way to Reeds Gap.  Anyway, we all eventually got to Rusty's one way or another.  What a different place!  I'm not sure whether I like it yet.  We'll see how the sleep goes.

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