Day 39 – Atkins to Chestnut Knob Shelter

23.8 miles, 57,177steps, 704 stories climbed

575.3 miles, 1,518,380 steps, 14,884 stories climbed
Wow was that a long exhausting day. I woke up a little before sunrise and got packed and left my room to start my hike.  After all the pizza and hot wings I was a bit dehydrated so I packed some extra water and downed a Gatorade to start the day and then headed out.
I saw a pretty good amount of wildlife this morning, a bunch of deer running through the meadows in the distance, some rabbits as well along with plenty of squirrels and different types of birds.  Unfortunately, they were all moving too fast for me to snap any pictures.
The weather forecast for the day was not very pretty, there were threats of serious thunderstorms for most of the day and around 9:30am the sky was so dark it looked more like the end of the day when the sun has already set and those last lingering rays of sunlight are just barely keeping the sky lit.
It wasn’t too long before the sky opened and the rain fell down. The thunder never came but it didn’t take long before my freshly cleaned clothes needed another turn in the drier.  The rain didn’t last too long however and for the rest of the day there were only scattered, brief showers.
The trail went by a number of rivers and over a bunch of cool moss covered foot bridges.  Every once in a while the trail also turned into an obstacle course as I had to climb over these things:
I get the point of them, preventing animals from going through the fence while allowing hikers to go over it but do we really need the extra exercise???
There were a great deal of hills to climb today too which is unusual for Virginia, which is probably why it was such a tough day.  It was my second longest day so far but the most hills I climbed in a day so far.
By the time that last climb started, at almost 20 miles in, I was running on fumes.  The last 4.5 miles where all uphill and it started with a pretty steep climb as well.  I was moving so slow and was tempted to stop a number of times and just throw my tent up and rest but I kept pushing and stepping and climbing until eventually I reached the shelter.  Silver arrived pretty much right after me and it’s just the two of us here for the night.
This is one of the nicer shelters.  It actually has four walls, a door, windows, concrete walls and a nice view of a beautiful valley which I here is Amish country.
Now I’m looking forward to getting some rest and getting back to the trail tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be nicer tomorrow.
By the way, anyone think I should be concerned that I’m now staying in a place called Beartown Wilderness? 
Personally, I think I should be more concerned with the fact that almost every sign in Virginia has bullet holes.

2 thoughts on “Day 39 – Atkins to Chestnut Knob Shelter

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