Thoughts from the Appalachian Trail: 962 miles; 6/15/2022

Slept at Mathew’s Arm campground in Shenandoah National Park. space A62

Woke up at 6:15a. Very hot and muggy. Lots of bugs. Thank goodness for bug nets!! Eventually had to get out of bed as i was sweating bullets. Ugh 😩.

Wayside camp store

Tons of caterpillars dropping from trees. So gross.

Brushed teeth, washed face, got dressed. Made breakfast, toasted bagels with egg and cheese. Used a little of leftover pico de gallo in the eggs. A trick i learned from a former work colleague, Sue Myers! Thanks Sue!!

Did a modified camp break, so we could get rolling quicker. Rolled the mattress topper and fitted sheet up with the Luno air mattress. I kind of like this approach. Shaves off at least ten minutes of packing effort.

Saw airlife, an ambulance and a few Ranger trucks at the intersection of US 211 and Skyline. Wonder what happened? Had Jake back on trail by 8:38A. Dropped at Meadow Spring Trailhead, which is .80 from the AT (941.9). Very intense uphill hike with a lot of rocks! Will have to plan our EOD pick ups and drop offs better.

Stone fireplace ruin along the Meadow Spring trail

Drove back to Mathew’s Arm CG to pay for camping X2 nights. Had a nice chat with the park ranger about bears. This camp ground is fairly prolific with a few bear families. Will have to be super mindful at night with our supplies in bear boxes! Also asked about the apparent accident at US 211. Ranger said it was a hiker with significant injuries. Probably not a Thru hiker because the AT doesn’t run Thru that particular area 🤷‍♀️

Campground bear family 😳

Met up with Jake-a-Lope at Beahm’s Gap (947.5) for a quick trail cola! It’s HOT today!! Hiked in a bit. Moving ahead to Elk Wallow wayside so we can meet up for lunch!! I’m jumping on trail to find him and hike in with him 😃

We had an amazing lunch consisting of smash burger (for me) and Beyond Burger (for him). They were fresh made and delish! Sat with a couple of fellas who shared stories of past trail exploits. They were hilarious! I was laughing so loud, maybe even obnoxiously…it was a nice break before i told Jake to “hit the trail” again, “we are burning daylight!” Begrudgingly, he strapped in his backpack and got back at it!

I ran back to camp to pick up dirty clothes and then all the way back to Big Meadows! Apparently, the closest place to do laundry. It was a 45 minute drive and i will be cutting it super close for picking him up at EOD. I was able to squeeze in a shower between washing and drying, so that was nice. I’ve been sweating for about 3-weeks straight now, it’s disgusting. I will have to hose Jake off later at camp. He hates the bag shower, but it’s what we have and works in a pinch.

Laundry!

Was able to finally find Jake-a-lope and extract him from a freshly mowed, side of the road field. Logistics can be difficult but as long as we stay flexible, it’s all part of the journey!!

Sunset on 6/15 🥰

Gave Jake a camp shampoo, so he is smelling pretty fresh right now 🥳

We had bologna and American cheese sandwiches for dinner. Completed with smashed chips in the middle. We are finally winding down and getting ready for story time! Duncan will hold his baby for the first time… or will he?

Good night!!

Inside back of Mazda CX-9, converted to sleeper with Luno mattress
Meadow Spring Trail, end of day pick up

Published by Analiese Kennedy

Ecology and anything outdoors is my Jam! We love exploring new places and connecting with others over a good meal and wine.

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