Day 43 – Pearisburg to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter

19.5 miles, 49,362 steps, 470 stories climbed

663.3 miles, 1,716,661 steps, 16,606 stories climbed
Well, that was a rough day.  I got a bit of a late start.  I realized I forgot to get toothpaste at the market so I had to stop there again and then also accidentally packed the room keys in my bag (I had left them in my jacket pocket from the night before).  Between all that and breakfast, I didn’t leave the hotel until after 9am!
It was tough to leave.  The first time I’ve had to leave a nice warm and dry hotel room to go home in the rain.  Silver stayed behind to do a zero day but I decided to hike on.  
The hike out of Pearisburg is not a very nice one.  It starts with you walking along the highway to get back to the trail, although the side of the road has some nice spots
It’s still non-trail miles on a highway.
Once you get back to the trail you’re only in the woods briefly before coming back out onto the road and hiking next to all the traffic.  You pass a nice big chemical any before returning into the woods where you walk right along the fence of a landfill.  Between all that, the usual steep uphill out of town and the rain, it was not the best start to the day.
I had a very slow start but made it to the first shelter eventually and got a good laugh at this.
Now normally I wouldn’t take a picture of the privy and post it for everyone but I had to here.  See, this privy, with its one wall and no roof, is right next to the trail.  I was standing on the trail as I took that picture so it isn’t exactly the most private privy. (That garbage can is really supposed to be filled with leaves for people to through into the toilet as compost when they’re done but this is what happens at shelters close to town unfortunately).
I stopped at the shelter for a bit to eat and escape the rain.  Already there were two hikers, a father and son, who had started back in February and had all kinds of difficulty with the snow back then.  The son had just graduated college and so the two of them were hiking the trail to celebrate.  
The rest of the day was me just pushing myself through the rain.  I wanted to make it to that second shelter quickly to dry off and eat but between the late start and the conditions, I didn’t make it there until almost 6pm!
I quickly got water and then started to dry and change (it feels so good to put on dry clothes after being in the rain all day!) and made myself some hot food.  Now, hopefully tomorrow will bring better weather.

2 thoughts on “Day 43 – Pearisburg to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter

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