Day 27, 5/2: M-459, Abdington Shelter (19mi)

A foggy start to the day, but very comfortable temps for walking.

I crossed paths with Tough Love after leap frogging since Hot Springs and we hiked together for a good part of the day. We were treated to some cold Pepsi left in this bear proof locker. Oddly, they only had zero calories Pepsi Max…trail magic is always good but we need every calorie we can get! (it still tasted good 🙂

Walking briefly through some pretty rolling farmland…

then reentering the woods.

Home for the night. It’s odd feeling like I’m cutting my day short after 19 miles, but it was only 3:15 and the weather was great. I had gotten word of some big rain and thunderstorm rolling in by 2pm, which then became 5pm and at last report was 8pm. I was able to check the radar on hill right before the shelter and it looked like a can’t miss storm regardless of the exact time, so I called it quits a bit early. Either way I will be getting into Damascus before noon tomorrow. Salty was a bit behind me all day after a late start. When he showed up ~4pm he had decided to push on to town for a 30mi day (easier terrain today) and had booked a place to stay knowing it probably be getting late and he’d prob be wet. We had already reserved a place to stay for tomorrow night so I will catch up to him later.

There were quite a few tents set up by the time the rain came at 6:45.

Looking forward to crossing into Virginia tomorrow and the easy walk into Damascus with plenty of time to take care of a long list of town chores and hopefully some relaxation.

I’ve started writing down some of my profound Trail Wisdom I come up with while hiking (typically shared in the shelter registers, so I thought I’d share on the blog as well:

1. Maine won’t come to you
Meaning,no more sitting around the shelter or hanging out in town…you need to keep moving!

2. Slack-packing is just a gateway drug
Slack-packing is hiking without your pack because either you or your pack are getting shuttled. Lots of lodges/hostels will offer shuttles so you can do this…and stay at their place for 2-nights instead of one. The gateway drug reference is b/c at first  you justify slack packing is OK cause you are still “hiking”, and the next day you will be justify skipping whole sections of trail. It’s a slippery slope!

3. You can’t slack pack your mind !

This is a logical follow up to the previous statement. While you might be able to slack-pack your pack/gear, the bigger problem for most folks is their mental state…and you can’t slack pack your mind!