Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The other side of the freeway

Wake up!
It's foggy out. Going back to sleep.
Not a good plan, you've got ten hours to do today.
What about the coyotes I heard last night?
If that's what they were, they're not singing any more. Let's go.

7:40, packed, first out of the shelter area, following the white paint towards Fullhart Knob. Relatively speaking, it's an easy climb, and it's the last for this trip. Views? Cloud's insides that would have been more welcome if they were cooler.

Six hours later, I walked under Interstate 81 and left the Blue Ridge behind (for now). Seven and a half hours, and the Trail left me at the breakdown lane for US 220, about 200 yards from the motel.

AT trailhead on US 220

Another AT hiker phrase: playing Frogger, after one of the popular arcade games of the last century.  The grade-level AT crossings are rarely marked by more than a yellow diamond sign with two stylized hikers; there is no indication that said hikers may be sprinting across the highway as they follow trail blaze markers, nor that being tired, footsore, and carrying their lives on their back, their sprints may resemble those of small amphibians.


Two-lane Frogger is a frequent game for us, both the rural road and the highway variety; US 220 today was of the four lane variety, with 18 wheelers as a bonus.

The tall tales shared by the thru hikers speak of bears that have learned how to get to the food bags we hang in the trees, snakes that curl up next to hapless victims as they sleep in the shelter, and of six lane Frogger games. With trucks.

As may be; I'm still more concerned about the deer ticks.

Another section of the trail done, 76 miles in 12 days of hiking. Total to date, 243 of 2189 miles.

It's a beginning

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