Chestnut Knob Shelter to Jenny Knob Shelter – 33.8 miles
We are hiking by 6 AM. My pack weight is killing me. Cloudwalker leaves me in the dust again, right from the start. Hiking the ridgeline is rocky and slow. I always seem to be slower than him (and others) in more technical areas like this. My pack is heavy! I need to stop a few times.
By 10:30 AM, it is HOT! I stop by a stream in the shade and the air feels much cooler here. I fill up my water, sit, and eat. It had taken me five hours to go 10 miles. The terrain finally gets better after this stop. Now the trail is smooth, but I’m still slow with this pack and in the heat. It’s 85 degrees most of the day.
Between 6 and 7 PM, I start feeling sluggish. Getting to camp late is tough because it’s hard to do what needs done and prepare for the next day (review guidebook, organize food, get water, journal, etc.) and still get a good amount of sleep. I feel I need to take a shorter day soon. Lindsay and the boys are coming tomorrow! I have over 30 miles to get to Pearisburg. I was hoping it was going to be shorter, but that’s fine. I am excited to see them for sure! I try to eat my pack lighter today and at the shelter.
When I get to the shelter, the other hikers tell me Cloudwalker stopped briefly and moved on. He left me a message in the shelter log he is going a few more miles further to be closer to town. With this difference in miles and meeting the family tomorrow, we will likely not meet up again. I will be following him all the way to Katahdin. It was fun hiking with someone the last few days and putting in some big miles, but I’m fine with hiking my own hike again. I’ll most likely be solo to the end now.
Hunting Camp Creek Wilderness, Jefferson National Forest, VA.
Brief relief from the hot sun.
I really wish these trees had leaves to provide some relief and protection from the blazing sun.