Blue Ridge Parkway (3,880 feet) mile 772.2 to John’s Hollow Shelter (1,008 feet) mile 789.0 for a 16.8 mile day! We ascended 2,154 feet and descended 5,488 feet!
Damn storm! Damn rain! I could go on, but, you didn’t come here for anger, you came here for adventure!!
Well, here ya go!
The day started out as most days do, decent weather and getting warmer. Suzanna dropped us off at small pull off along the Blue Ridge Parkway and we took off hiking north.
Today was a day that we would come out of the Blue Ridge Parkway and head down toward the town of Glasgow, Va.
It was really a day with very little views and even less water. There were 5 water sources in the entire day, and the 5th one was at the shelter that we planned on staying.
I got a pretty decent close up of something I wanted to remember out here that I see quite often in my daily walks, a burl!
Just like when you get sick and your body freaks out and does weird things, a tree will do the same thing and when it does, burls form. Burls do not harm the tree in any way and has little to no effect on the lifespan of the tree and they grow bigger, obviously, as the tree grows bigger. The wood in burls can be high dollar and sought after by woodworkers and furniture builders. The value is based on the size of the burl and the type of tree.
We eventually came to Matt’s Creek Shelter (834 feet) mile785.1, and it was such a great place to get water and rest for a few minutes. We chatted with a couple while we were there and told them about our journey and invited them to follow along on Instagram at stuphelps to see all the fun we have and if we make it. The unfortunate thing here was, we had no phone service, so no way to check the weather, but we knew it would be along soon.
We headed toward the next shelter, which was only 4 miles away. Thankfully we were at the bottom of the descent and had some “flat” trail ahead of us because we were heading toward the James River. About a mile before we crossed the James River Foot Bridge there was a campsite that had a sign that said, “no camping for the next mile”, this meant we had to push on to the next shelter, even though the sky was growing darker by the minute.
We came to the James River Foot Bridge and it was here that I learned why this was its name. One would think it’s because hikers walk across it, but no.
It’s because the man who designed it, his last name was Foot!!
Nonetheless, we used Mr. Foots bridge to cross the James River, with a great swiftness, look back up in the bridge picture at the sky!! So, across the bridge it is now time to start hiking up some, and with the addition of rumbles it was even faster. Then, being down in this valley, the thunder started sounding so weird and it was so dark I almost stopped to put on my headlight, but I knew if I did I would be drenched. Well, it didn’t matter!! I even ran at some point, but, to no avail!! I was about a half a mile from the shelter when it came a sudden down pour, Kelly made it to about .3 before she was hit with the rain, I lost sight of her at some point in front of me! Ugh… my poor plantar fasciitis infested feet!! When I say sudden down pour, you know in a rain storm it usually starts slow as to kind of warm you of the impending doom that is about to be unleashed on you? That warning didn’t happen!!! The drops were huge and many!! And then just like that, it was gone and I set up my tent, hung clothes in hopes they’d dry then made dinner and went to bed.
Oh, if anyone knows the best way to live with wet feet, feel free to leave the method in the comments below.