Saturday, September 18, 2010

Appy Trail Day Two: To the Hurricane Shelter

Starting Day Two...

Filtering water in Comers Creek...

Hurricane Shelter..

A comatose young man...

Awake early the second day to a very loud, unnatural sounding owl. At least that's what SubMan called it. Breakfast: Oatmeal and coffee! We pack up before SubMan and Pringles. Virginia had been undergoing a drought the last month or two. Of course, I hadn't planned on there being a lack of water in Virginia. The water at the Trimbli shelter was a foul smelling puddle. The water had an orangeish tinge to it. I still had a pint or so of water (Taran about the same) so we made the decision to get water about three miles up the trail. The map we purchased had all the shelters and water holes marked on it. Along with side trips into towns for such necessities as burgers and fries. Off we go!

This is eastern woodland hiking. This means that you are under the canopy of deciduous trees, never seeing more than a 100 feet or so in front of you. And our lack of planning also means that we picked a pretty tough section of trail to do our 56 miles on. We have elevation gain everyday to handle. And the three tallest mountains in Virginia to climb.

The trail climbed after we left Trimbli. It soon became apparent that not filling our water bottles with the rust colored water was a mistake. We ran out quite soon. And when we finally trudged to the top of the first mountain, where the water should be, we couldn't find it. Damn!

We were saved by SubMan and Pringles who came by and gave us the rest of their water. They were following the path that intersected there a mile or two down to Troutdale, where they would be imbibing in ribs and a hostel for the night.

We hiked on another three miles to Comers Creek (see photo above). We filled the wine bottle full of water too (this, I think, is my best innovation to backpacking: bringing a bottle of wine for the first night and then using the bottle to hold water for the remainder of the trip). We still hadn't really experienced much of a view: the trees and foliage get in the way.

Now Taran is a young man a bit like me: grandiose, forgetful, a tad delusional and unbelievably optimistic to his abilities. It's in our genes. However this young man has been focusing on a successful computer programmer career. Working late hours peering at a computer screen. His free time has been mostly doing the same thing: peering at a computer screen. The result of this is another family trait for our every slothful ways: weight gain. Lots of it.

But when you are 24 you still think you are 16 and 160 pounds of youthful enthusiasm. He soon learned that that is no longer the truth of his physical conditioning. To make matters worse, a Hurricane had come ashore in Mexico a few days before (I forget the name, but it started with an "H"). This storm had continued up through Texas---off to Ohio before it decided to make a turn straight towards us.

Clouds filled the sky.

We had originally planned to put in a 16 mile day to Old Orchard shelter. Given our early morning dehydration and our non-trail legs, we decided to just go to Hurricane Shelter. This seemed fitting as the remnants of a hurricane were headed our way. Always go with synchronicity, I say!

But first we had to climb Hurricane Mountain. Just a few thousand feet of elevation gain---but this poor progeny of mine suffered up every inch. When we finally got to the the shelter (halfway up the mountain), the poor kid threw down his sleeping bag and immediately went to sleep. He awoke a couple of hours later, ate some Ramen---and went back to sleep.

I sat and sipped Jim Beam and listened to the Tree Frogs.

The end of the second day. Mileage: 10 miles.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Allan,
I always transfer my booze or wine into a Sigg bottle or 600ml. plastic soda containers. Nice and light when empty, and if needed for water handy. 10 miles is a good day.

Allan Stellar said...

Robb: I like my booze in glass. A snob I am...