The Appalachian Trail: Day 37

May 5, 2017

It stormed pretty decent last night but the morning was nice and cheery. DustBuster and I headed out at our usual 8:00 and left Walker to sleep in for a while. We thought the Quarter Marker was a bit further on but we had apparently camped right next to it. The storm had given us a few new obstacles to maneuver but I found it more fun than annoying. This tree blocked the trail and was not going to be easy to go around so I climbed over while DustBuster went through. We never decided whose path was more difficult.

We headed through a lovely pasture and the trail ran right next to where some cows (and a big bull) we’re grazing. I decided it was time to skedaddle once the bull started sharpening his horns against a tree. Next was a bridge that was likely underwater a few hours ago. All this rain makes the hiking much slower due to mud and puddles that you try to avoid (walking in wet socks is the worst but it’s tough staying dry). 

After lunch, I had to slow down as my hip was starting to give me some bother and I told DustBuster to go on ahead. It’s supposed to storm tonight so we’re going to meet at a shelter with four walls (a luxury out here) and decide if we want to stay or push on to a hostel another 6 miles further. I’m not a big fan of shelters or camping on mountain tops while it’s cold but the shelter is already 18 miles in…

Well, I slowed down considerably but was still moving forward. The skies were turning grey as I passed a pretty little pond but it didn’t seem like rain was imminent. It was a nice 1000ft climb up to the shelter but the wind was turning cold and I was not dressed for it. I met up with DustBuster and was more than happy to hike on. Bad weather is on the horizon and this is the last place I want to be when the weather drops to freezing. I took some pictures and hiked on..

It was all downhill or flat the rest of the way and DustBuster went ahead to arrange our transport. Walker texted and said he was about an hour behind us but would be joining us at St. Luke’s Hostel. Well, he must’ve been booking it because after a short detour to the town dump (literally just a few large dumpster bins beside the school), we arrived just after he called for a pick-up. There are signs at all the intersections telling how far to which family residence and the school had a listing of the month’s birthdays. There were 2…

The hostel is a renovated barn full of bunks with additional rooms in the main house. They offer home cooked meals for an additional cost but I was fine with lightening my food load. The guy who runs things is pretty entertaining too! Hope I can manage a good night’s rest sleeping around others (I’m such a light sleeper). Think I’ll finally use my earplugs tonight.


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