Though we walk in the green tunnel most of the time my favorite photos are of the areas outside of the forests:
We currently have a nice group of kids around us. Last night I felt like the overseer of a group of students: campsite full of 20-30yr old, and mom and pop (that’s us) at the entrance to the area.
But tonight we are camping all by ourselves. Though we have crossed each other on the trail during the day several times, the kids have all pushed on another 5km, they are positioning themselves for a short day tomorrow and an early pick-up by the brewery shuttle. We warned them to not drink all the beer (or eat all the food) as we will roll in much later (hope we make it in time for the last shuttle) – our legs were just too tired to push on.
Which brings me to a very important discussion we had under a tree at this spot.
Trevor went to fetch water. I was just too tired to go with him, I waited under a tree, guarded by 748 flies (the bugs and flies drive you nuts!!!) while eating basically ALL my snacks for the day to get some energy. When he came back I said to him my legs have no firing power (this was just after coming up a 800m ascent over 5km, it’s not that steep but just never ending and we had a further 1000m ascent for the day). I was surprised when he said he feels the same – to me he looked so handsome 😀 and strong and fast moving….
We have noticed that we are always surrounded by people who started hiking in March. We started 5 April. When we are in town and hikers hostel owners or outfitters assistants ask us when we started they always say “you are doing extremely well”. It seems we are catching more people from behind than we are losing people going faster than us (rude curly redhead is back in our group, regardless of his big talk of big mileage). Which, to be honest, is good for our egos, but maybe not for our bodies. Maybe we should be doing that 3-4km less a day to avoid burnout or injury.
The reason we have been pushing ourselves so hard is that we are trying to get to Harpers Ferry (the symbolic halfway point) by 14 June. It is Trevor’s birthday and we have tickets to go to a concert just north of Washington, we wanted to get to Harpers Ferry and then catch a train to Washington. Trevor in his wisdom did the calculation sitting on the couch in SA, saying oh we can easily manage that. His thumbsucked average mileage was unrealistic, but we have been pushing 32km days for a while now to try to make this target.
But today we decided to be sensible, we don’t want to get injured and we don’t want to run through the Shenandoah without enjoying what many say is a special part of the trail. There is another solution. We can slow down a tiny bit and get relatively close to Harpers Ferry by the 14th, maybe 2 days away from it. We will merely arrange a shuttle to take us there to catch a train, and a shuttle to take us back there after our Washington trip.
Now all that remains is to stick to our sensible decision….after tomorrow: cause tomorrow we are running to the brewery!