Howdy everyone at home! We've had a really hard time finding Internet service in VA...sorry for the lack of updates.
We're cozy here in Tentville near a small town called Catawba, VA. So near in fact, that we were able to walk to the Catawba Grocery (gas station) for some health food: 8 hot dogs, 1 bag of super cheddar munchies, 20 oz drinks, 1/2 a bag of powdered mini donuts & a 1/2 gallon if vitamin d whole milk that Mike's just polishing off! I'd give you a calorie count...but I can't add that high (: Haha! This gluttonous trip to the convenient store was the dangling carrot that kept us moving for 23 miles today. We heard most of the east coast got lousy weather last night from the storms in Alabama-- in case you're wondering, we weren't exempt. Fortunately, we knew bad weather was on its was, so we holed up in a shelter last night. A shelter us a half step above a tent in nasty weather. Although you still catch the spray that the rain blows in & get that good old fashioned clammy, sweaty feeling in your sleeping bag, you don't have to pack out a wet tent. We laid & listened to the thunder & hail shake the shelter happy to be under a roof instead of just a tent-fly. One great thing about the storm was that it brought in cooler weather to walk in today. With all the rain, streams became rivers & the rivers became swollen monsters. After lunch we enjoyed getting to take off our shoes & wade through a few creeks that had overrun their bridges.
Virginia has treated us well for the most part (so far). The terrain is generally more moderate which has allowed us to up our daily mileage to the low 20s. The trees are all getting their leaves back & it's neat to look out over a mountainous landscape covered in green trees & greener pasture land with a big blue sky to top it all off. Although the inclines & declines are more moderate, the soil is much more rocky - which has caused both Mike & me to wine about sore feet for a few days. It's funny to hear the comments escalate from "It feels like someone put my feet through a meat grinder" to, "I feel like someone tied me up & beat my feet with a rubber bat" and so on and so forth. To our credit, our feet are monstrously swollen. Other than the little discomforts, we're staying healthy & are still grateful to be on this adventure. We're hoping to be at the I-81 interchange near Roanoke on Sat. AM to be scooped up by Doug & Marlene (more of Mike's fam). That'll put us 720 miles in & 1/3 of the way done with this daggum trail! If I had to describe the first third of the AT in a few words, I'd say it's been a lot like eating a cup-cake with strawberry icing. Totally kidding. It's been more challenging than we could possibly have fathomed. But with great challenge, comes great reward. We're looking forward to what the next 1400 miles hold. And no matter how many days it takes, as my grandpa Pop used to say, "You could stand on your head & stack greased BBs for that long." (:
Thanks to Debbie Wilson for the package in Pearisburg!!! What a treat. (:
*please hold further packages until we come back after the cruise! I'll give a new PO list & dates
As usual, no way to add pics tonight so expect a photo dump this weekend!