A Cairn Pointing Toward Pearisburg
I wasted no time getting up in the morning. I had to wring myself out as I put my gear in order. In spite of the fact that I keep my sleeping bag in double trash bags it was damp. This gear needed a dry out time. I wolfed down a pack of corn flakes chased by a dirt bar and water and I hit the trail.
By now I was moving down the mountain toward the city below. An occasional view would pop up and I’d pause. But……. I really wanted a shower. The dirt on me was complaining about being dirty.
The Forest was Opening Up
I found that the forest was thinning out as I approached town. As usual I was watching for wildlife with the more open views. I’m torn about that. It is imperative that I watch my step…..the rocks and roots are never ending and each provide the potential for a bone jarring crash and burn.
It Became So Inviting
There was no pain today…. I think it was the thought of cleanliness driving me on. With each switchback I found myself slightly closer to the elevation of the New River. A few day hikers came by me in the opposite direction. All of them friendly and glad to be out here.
This was the reason for the amount of day hikers. The view from Angel’s Rest was impressive but I wanted to tell them to hike higher where the views were more spectacular and you got the bonus of a barking dog or church bells echoing through the valley inviting everyone to service.
Two More Miles
This was a pleasing day. There was no hurry since I was hiking under 7 miles. I dawdled. As I crossed a power line there was a flurry to my left. A fox jumped out onto the trail in front of me with a bird flapping its wings in his mouth. When the fox saw me it opened its mouth in shock, I guess, and the bird flew away. I had disturbed the circle of life.
Half a mile later my boots slipped on a muddy log and down I went. It was my first fall since the snow months ago. I rolled down the mountain about 20 feet until my pack became lodged in a bush. I lay there doing an assessment…. not a scratch…..but….. now I was REALLY muddy….. everywhere!
I made it to the Plaza Motel… not exactly a NewYork valet type place but on this day….. close to heaven. A very long shower….. lunch…..a nap…..and Jed arrived. Next door lived Jason a professional guitar player/ pipeline installer. Relaxation included quality music….. no extra charge.