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Published: April 21st 2008
We woke up nice and early... 2 find it raining. Our first day on the trail and it was pissin it down!! Well we checked, double checked and triple checked that we had everything and then headed out the front door 2 walk the mile or so 2 the bus station 2 be picked up by Mr Kirby.
When we walked out of the hostel the rain had calmed down a bit and i thought 'this ain't gonna be 2 bad' then a couple of minutes later the heavens opend up and sent a torrent of rain upon us. We dipped in a shelter so ben could slip his water proof trousers on. While i thought 'really wish i bought them freakin water proofs yesterday!!'
When ben was suited and booted we carried on2 the station.
We arrived there a little before seven and waited 4 Mr Kirby 2 come and we waited and waited. Finally the white chevy truck turned up and out stepped Mr Kirby, a big southern stereotype with a cocktail stick in his mouth, the majority of his teeth missing and boy he like to say damn alot as in "god damn boys!!" and he just liked 2 liberally sprinkle the word in his sentences. We threw r packs in the back of his truck and driving along the rainy virginia roads we headed 4 rockfish gap; the southern entrance to Shenandoah National park. Mr Kirby who from now on shall be named texas bill talked alot about german spies in the mountains durin ww2.... Well he dropped us off at rockfish gap and drove off 2 go sleep with his sister and ben and i began walkin the appalachian trail.
A little bit of info about the appalachian trail... it runs over 2000 miles. Startin off in Georgia and endin way up in maine. Every year so many thousand people set out 2 walk the whole thing... roughly 10% make it.
So me and ben were at the foot of the natrional park with our packs over r shoulder ready 2 walk the 8 miles or so 2 r first shelter. Due 2 the fog been thick we didn't get the most amazin views. Sometimes however the fog would hold its own charm. We were descendin a hill and came out 2 see the fog coverin everythin, a couple of minutes later it all disappeared and gave us an amazin view. A couple of mins later the fog was back.
Well soggy but in high spirots we finally made it 2 our shelter at calf mountain. The shelters r basically 3 sided huts with a bottom floor and a top floor... the top floor was covered with rat droppins. We also had 2 store r food in a bear pole!!! A 10ft pole stuck in2 the ground which u hook ur food on2 right at the top, sure don't get that at leeds fest!!
We decided 2 set up r tent as we didn't want 2 sleep in the rat infested shelter. With tent set up we boiled the water from the stream so it was safe 2 drink(sat here in miami atm... typin about r hike seems weird!!)
Then took a book in2 tent and read till it got dark and then i attempted 2 sleep... but the rock massagin my lower spine wasn't much help and the it was fuckin freezin aswell!!
Found it really hard 2 get out of my sleepin bag this mornin. If it was cold in my sleepin bag... how cold was it gonna ber outside off it oh and because r tent was shit the rain snuck in and made everythin nicely damp!!
Got out of be sleepin bag and unzipped the tent 2 find the fog had lifted and the sky was blue... yeah right!! it was still foggy with rain nicely drizzlin down. Well we packed away r soakin tent and began the 13 mile walk 2 our next shelter.
There ain't enough expletives 2 tell u all how i felt after walkin 11 miles, i was gonna cover myself in honey and just offer myself 2 a bear. We would stop 4 a rest but everytime i would put the pack on it was like a knife stappin me in the back... it just wasn't fun!! There was never ne views 2 reward us either just fuckin fog!!!
Well we finally got 2 our shelter. I got my sleepin bag out... got in the shelter, crawled in2 my sleepin bag and went 2 sleep, and what a sleep it was. Ben had a rat run across his face and he jumped up screamin... i was oblivious. A bear could have done the river dance on my face and ii would have slept through it!!
We decided 2 take it easy 2day. As the sun was shinin a bit we hung r tent out 2 dry... left r packs at the shelter and went on a 5 mile walk. We just got 2 the top 0f an overlook and the fog had disappeared and we were greeted with an astonishin view of mountains and valleys (wish it was easy 2 get photos on here!!) i said 2 ben 'makes it all seem woth it' ben replied with 'not havin a rat run across my face it don't'.
With spirits lifted by the view we headed back 2 the shelter just after we arrived a young lad from georgia turned up... probably about our age. He had done exactly the same as we had the previous day and yet he looked chipper. He filled his bottles with water from the stream, had some pasta and then went off 2 walk a further 7 miles!!! Boy did i feel like a girl.
Neways soon another gadge turned up callin himself tobasco (his trail name) he seemed a bit weird but seein as he got a major fire going i had no problem with him!! And we all sat there watchin the fire (cowboy television) after a couple of hours of watchin cowboy television it got repetetive and we hit the sack.
Got up packed up our now dry tent and deceided 2 walk the next 13 miles or so 2 the next shelter. We decided 2 walk along the skyline drive, a road that runs alongside shen national park.
Walkin along the road was nice and easy going and we worked out we were roughly doing a mile every 20 mins, which wasn't bad going.
We also came across a vendin machine... i kept my spirits down and just assumed that due 2 the time of the season it would be off, however gettin closer 2 the vendin machine we could hear the fan wurrin away. Well at this point i let my spirits soar!! I grabbed my wallet and tried 2 shove a dollar in2 the machine... exept it was jammed!!! Seriously after 4 days of drinkin stream water that soda would have been so nice. The fog had pretty much gone 2day and we had some amazin views.
We got 2 our next shelter and decided 2 light a fire of our own. I had just finished readin Dan Browns 'deception point' and it sucked so thought i would put the book 2 some use and see if i could get a fire started... turns out Dan Brown is not only a shit writer but is pretty crap when it comes 2 lightin fires!!
Lucky 4 us our old mate Tobasco showed up and before long we had a nice fire going. Some other people showed up includin a dog with its own rucksack and a 16 year old girl who was hickin the whole trail... could think of other things 2 do at 16 than spend half a year traipsin through woods, but well done 2 her!!
Time 2 go home!! We packed up gave r food 2 tobasco and headed a few hundred yards2 the skyline 2 get picked up by Texas Bill. He turned up and we were back on our way 2 charlottesville... not before some racist comments from texas mind.
Well we got back 2 charlottesville, sorted out our greyhound tickets 2 Raleigh and then went an ate a massive subway sarrnie!!
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