Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Waynesboro: Friendliest Town on the Trail

Damascus is technically the friendliest town on the trail, but Waynesboro sure has felt like it. People here are so nice.  We got to town this afternoon so Day Tripper could pick up a package.  After dominating the AYCE Chinese buffet (the waitress starting glaring at us after the first hour be were there), the highlight of the day was a free swim at the local YMCA.  Day Tripper used to coach swimming so I also had a free lesson.  And chlorine is very effective at cleaning clothes- my shorts haven't been this clean since the beginning of the trail!

Daleville to Waynesboro (mile 853) flew by.  Most of it has been familiar territory because I hiked large portions of this section in college.  We have been swimming a lot lately, and our humid, hot days have turned into endless quests for swimming holes.  We also jumped off the James River Foot Bridge, a 30-ft plunge into the James River.  It was the perfect temperature for a relaxing swim before a 3000 ft climb.

Day Tripper, Pistol (a new friend) and I had the pleasure of being taken into Lexington, VA. The director of the Outing Club/an old friend, James, let us stay in the Outing Club house.  We ate dinner at Don Tequilas, had coffee at Lex coffee, and had a nice guided tour of campus by me. A great visit for sure.  And I just realized that I talk about towns a lot, but we don't actually spend that much time in towns.  They are just blog-worthy that everyday trail life.  If I wrote about everyday trail life it would be the following:

We woke up, packed, ate, walked, ate, walked, went to the bathroom, walked, ate, read, slept.  Multiple by ~120 days. Throw in a few wildlife sightings and overlooks that are starting to look the same and you'd have a thru-hike. An added bonus is that the trail is also a tour of the towns and culture along the Appalachian corridor.

One complaint is that the humidity has brought the bugs out in full force.  I am covered with mosquito bites, which isn't the worst part.  The worst is the pestering.  Having no relief from gnats flying around your face all day and no-see-ums gnawing on your legs at night is slow and steady torture.  And also cause for crying and mild cursing (I think that was only the second time that the trail made me cry).

Tonight we're staying at the Lutheran church hostel and tomorrow we're entering the Shenandoah National Park.  I saw at least 4 bears in the SNP in 2007, so I'm stoked for some black bear sightings this week.  We're also going to pump out some big miles (three 20+ mile days in a row planned for later this week) just because we can.  The plan to see an old friend halfway through the park and the rumors of a milkshake at a restaurant in the park have me lacing up my boots.  Actually my trail runners have a really modern cable clasp system instead of laces so my shoes never come untied, but regardless- stay tuned!


  1. Need more addresses for your next care package!!