Friday, May 25, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day55 mile 741.1 (19)

After spending a day in a town, eating town food, sleeping in a bed, access to running water and a hot shower it was hard self motivating to head back out on the trail. Daleville, VA has been the best town up to this point in my opinion.
The trail was really well graded making the hiking easier than expected. The heat kicked in though making me feel more fatigued than usual and having to stop for water several times. My water filter started acting up for the first time on this trip of all days (86 degrees on my thermometer).
Meet some nice folks today. One of them was actually born in the same hospital as me and has a birthday 4 days from mine (7 years age difference though :) ).
Laying in my tent now with the odor of my rank shoes either fogging up my tent or making me dizzy :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

AT Hike

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to follow my jouney. I have had so many people make comments and shoot me emails that it has really touched me deeply. I apologize for not being able to respond to everyones questions and comment (unfortunately I do not have a smart phone or have had computer access to respond). Please do not take it personally! Whenever this trip comes to a conclusion I will definately look back over all the comments and questions and make the effort to respond to everyone. Thanks again to everyone! Happy trails to all! "Keep your eyes on the skyline and nose into the wind!" - ROVIOUS
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Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 54

Been having a nice relaxing zero day in Daleville, VA. Staying at the Howard Johnson which is right next to the trail and located near an outfitter and plenty of restaraunts. I actually think I may have put a few pounds back on :).
We've been hiking with a nice young chap from England (Chez11) for the past few days. Basically we had 3 generations of hikers in our group. He will be heading on ahead of us after tomorrow since we will be heading into Roanoke on Saturday so I can spend a night with my wife and dogs. Hopefully we can catch back up with him in the future as he made a nice addition to our hiking party.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike-Day 53 mile 722.5 (9.4)

Rained again last night. Comanchie pulled the dog into the shelter fortunately (he was against the wall so it didn't bother any of the other hikers). I woke up early and headed out at 6:30 to get into Daleville and hopefully reunite the dog with her owner.
The trail was pretty easy going so I moved at an ok pace. We ran into a retarded turkey who ran back and forth in front of me 4 or 5 times making the dog go crazy. Finally it ran off and I calmed the dog down so we could move on.
We made it to town aat 10:30. Just before getting off trail we ran into an older gentleman who had a dog that looked just like Babe. I explained the dogs story and we moved on to the vets. When I arrived to drop the dog off they seemed reluctant to hold her until the owner could be located. The gentlman that we met on the trail had called the vet while we were there and said he was going to pay for the boarding (this was unknown to us until after we left-heck of a nice gesture and just the type of
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Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 22 mile 510.5 (16.3)

Woke up early after a noisy night, but the rain was short lived making it ok. Hit the trail by 7am and hiked most of the morning with overcast sky. This was a good thing because it kept the temps at a reasonable level.
Made it to McAfee Knob for lunch and took a few iconics photos. The sky had cleared just for us and we had great views.
Just after leaving the knob I found a lost dog from a section hiker we met earlier. I leashed it up with my line and headed down the trail. We spent a good while trying to track the owner down with no luck. We are staying in the shelter due to expected rain tonight and because of the dog. I will take him into the vets in Daleville tomorrow.
I have a new respect for people who hike with their dogs. I fed the dog half of my food and carried extra water for it making for a heavy pack and an empty belly :) - all worth it though!
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 51 mile 696.8 (16.8)

Got an early start and was hiking before 7am. The weather was actually pretty good and the temps were moderate. The day started off with a pretty descent climb, but the grade was very good.
By 1pm it started heating up quite a bit and there was no water. The climb up/over/down Dragons Tooth was brutal. Nothing but rocks which really took its toll on my already hurting foot.
I ran out of water 2 miles out of the road where we decided to stop and hitch to a grocery and hostel (Four Pines Hostel). We loaded up on Gatorade and hamburgers and headed to the hostel. There was a group of younger hikers drunk out of there mind who took over the place a chased the rest of us out. We are now in our tents in the rain. The owner of the place is a nice guy but did nothing to stop the problems. There are about a dozen of us who are pretty P.O'd because we have to pay for their inconsiderate behavior. The trail crowd is definately different this year and not for the better. On to better days!
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike-Day 50 mile 680ish

Let me get my bitchin out of the way first:
1. My foot is killing me!
2. My camera drowned due to all the rain-had to bu new camera
3. Got a nice gash on my forhead (not a scratch) from the van door hitting me in the head.
4. Did I mention my foot is killing me? :) that's out of the way! Todays hiking was pretty good. A lot of ups and downs, but it was clear sky and even had a few pretty views. Ran into a guy who I met heading into Bland and thought would be so far up the trail I wouldn't see him again. He took 1-2 days off in Pearisburg to wait on new shoes (which unfortunatley didn't come in). We chatted for a few by the Giant Keffer Oak Tree (one of the largest if the largest tree on the trail). Left him there and made my way to Niday Shelter. I walk up to the shelter and who do I find sitting there? HILL Hiker and Chez11! Finally some familiar faces. We chatted for a while around the table catching up. I am now in my tent hopefully to SLEEP! Got a big day tomorrow! Trying to get to Daleville by Tueday.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Update and video....

First here are a couple videos....

Heading into Pearisburg, VA.  I am going a little slow lately due to an injury to my right foot.  At the end of last year I did a long section hike over a weekend and sustained a stress fracture. Everything has been going fine up until a couple of days ago. I have had swelling and sharp shooting pain in the same location as before.  With this being said I slowed down the pace a around 12ish miles in a day my feet start swelling and getting sore so I backed off my mileage to around 10-12 miles a day to try and keep that at bay.  I actually started taking Ibuprofin to help keep the swelling down as well.  I have tried to stop at streams to soak my feet a couple times a day as a makeshift natures icepack.  The pain is still there, but it seems to have subsided a little. As they say "No Pain...No Maine!!!" :)

Been going solo since Marion.  Hill Hiker had pressed on and with my foot problems I haven't been able to do bigger miles to catch up. We have been in contact and may eventually meet up along the trail.

Hope everyone is doing well and thanks for taking the time to keep tabs on me!!

Happy Trails!!!!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 45 mile 586.9 (11.7)

Slept in a little today (or should I say rested in).Hit the trail by 7:45 with clouds in the sky,but no rain!
Actually had a pretty easy hike into Bland, VA. Had a real hand time getting a hitch though. I hiked out of the woods with another couple who had a dog which may have been a limiting factor. No worries though. They were good company and we shared stories on the walk into town. About 1/4 mile out of town someone stopped and picked us up (better late than never). Made it to Subway then went down to DQ for dessert.
Resting now at The Big Walker Motel where I picked up a mail drop.

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-day 44 mile 575.2 (19.1)

I actaully stayed in a shelter last night. Usually i would prefer tenting, but having nothing but rain for what has seemed like forever I just did not want to pack a soaking wet tent up. Luckily there was only one person there and he didn't snore!
I rolled out at 7am once again in the rain. Most of the morning was spent getting soaked on a 2000 foot climb up to Chestnut Knob shelter for lunch. Just before the shelter I walked through a giant field while it only drizzled. The scene actually lifted my spirits a bit.
I spent around 40 minutes for lunch and during that time the rain stopped and the sun made its appearance. I was able to take the rain gear off for the first time in a couple days and let my clothes dry as I walked.
The weather only held out for a while and I was forced back into my wet suit just before making it to Jenkins Shelter. Once again fed up with the rain I made a nest in the shelter, ate dinner and layed down for a nights rest filled with snoring (unfortunately not mine).
The attached picture is of a couple hiking pups I have seen a couple of times - Keep going Mojo and Sky! :)
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - day 43 mile 556.1 (13.9)

First Happy Mothers day to my Mom, Mother-in-law and wife (yes dogs count as kids too :) ).
I had a nice weekend with my wife in Marion, VA while at the General Francis Marion Hotel. A very nice place with an excellent restaraunt.
Headed back to Atkins and was on the trail by 11:30. There were quite a few PUDS (pointless Ups and Downs) which made the elevation profile look a little daunting at first look, but the grade wound up being ok.
Made it to Knot Maul Shelter by 4:45. The rain started around 4 (cant seem to stay dry) and the forcast is calling for rain until Tuesday. I might even sleep in the shelter tonight as I am the only one here now.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Marion,VA Zero Day (Day 42)

I really don't like taking multiple zero days, but I arrived in Atkins, VA a day early and had no way of adapting my schedule where my wife could pick me up on the weekend.  I stayed in a motel/inn in Atkins, VA for an extra day to accomodate our schedule. It just so happened that the weather had eased up and would have been perfect for hiking. Oh well....a small trade off to see my wife.
I have Virginia ahead of me and although the longest state on the trail does not seem daunting to me at all.  After Troutdale, VA (which I have recently come through) the trail is completely virgin territory to me. This makes me feel like I am really just starting the trail so where the newness that most hikers have experienced is starting to wear off the beginning just seems to be starting for me.
My body feels really good and I feel in the best cardio shape that I have in years.
I can't wait to see what Virginia has in store for me.....hopefully not as much rain as I have been seeing lately :)

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 40 mile 542.2 (11.6)

Last nights stay in the shelter was trying to say the least. Out of the 8 of us that were on the lower level 7 were severe snorers (I was not one of them as I am still having a lot of difficulty getting any sleep and spend most of the night awake). I was on the trail at 7am and finally had a day that would not rain on me!!!! It was a little chilly early which is what I really enjoy when hiking.
I traveled through farm land and traveled back in time to a little bit of history.  I passed by an old one room school building which was open to hikers and completely restored and maintained.  I stayed there for a short while taking pics/videos and tending to a few tender spots on my feet.
I made it to Atkins by 11:30 and checked into the Relax Inn.  Little did I know what I was in for. Although cheap, right on the trail and close to a restaraunt it was lacking in cleanliness.  The bugs truely had "Bed Bugs" and I felt itchy all night long. Not complaining though as I was not wet, had a shower, bed and a full belly.
Since I got here a day early and was going to meet my wife here on Saturday I had to stay in Atkins for an additional day. She is going to pick me up Saturday morning and we will be heading into Marion to stay at a much nicer hotel (The General Francis Marion Hotel).

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012 - Day 39 mile 530.6 (19.7)

It only sprinkled last night for about 30 minutes so I figured the bad weather may finally be moving through, but I was wrong. The rain toyed with me most of the day requiring me to put on and take off the rain gear multiple times.
I decided to press on past Troutdale since word on the trail was the restaraunt had closed down and the idea of real food was the only reason I was going to stop.
I made it to Partnership shelter around 4pm. This shelter was not a typical AT shelter by any means. It had a shower and you can also have pizza delivered to it. Hill Hiker and I split one making the longer day worth it. Sleeping in the shelter tonight (which is not something I really like doing - like the solitude of my tent).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2012-Day 38 mile 510.9 (16.4)

downpoored all night long. My tent actually folded in on me 2 times during the night but sprang right back up (fortunately).
rained most of the morning and on and off the rest of the afternoon. It did clear up a little as i was leaving Grayson Highland SP and i got to see the wild ponies. My camera may be ruined due to getting soaked
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Appalachian Trail thru hike 2012 -Day 37 mile (18.65)

Started off hiking around 7am. Had a pretty good group of people at Saunders shelter, but they were some snorers :)
Most of the day was pretty good weather and although it was warm it wasnt extremely hot for hiking.
Made it to Elk Garden around 2:30 just in time. It started to downpour! We waited there until 4pm, but it just wasnt letting up. I finally decided to head out and take my chances. Needless to say I was soaked and the trail was a river! Made it just past Thomas Knob shelter and set up camp. We wanted to stay in the shelter, but a group of section hikers werent going to make room. (There are just as many Buttholes on the AT as in towns :( )
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Day 36 mile 476.3 (9.65)

No folks I did not give up! :)
I still have some things weighing on my mind , but overall I feel much better about things. Leaving Damascus today and having Virginia ahead of me doesn't feel that daunting. Since I will finally be hitting trail that I haven't actually hiked before (after Troutdale) seems like things are being renewed a bit.
I rejoined Hill Hiker today which helps things out. Even though we dont hike together during the day we usually camp at the same location so we always have a familiar face at the end of the day.
The trail was very good to me today. The weather was nice (although getting much warmer) and the grade was moderate.
I am now at Saunders Shelter with Hill Hiker, our tents set up and about to get water for cooking and such.
Thanks to everyone for the concern, comments and emails.
Happy Trails! ROVIOUS
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

AT Thru Hike 2012

Just a quick update to let everyone know things are ok. I decided to take the week off from blogging (for personal reasons). I only decided to not post for the week, but will start posting once i get to Damascus this weekend. Just needed some time to reflect. Thanks again for following and stay tuned!
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finally....some video!!

I finally got a chance to get a few videos up.  It takes quite a while to download even the short clips so I was only able to get a few posted.  Thanks to everyone who has been following along!! I hope to be in Damascus this coming weekend and rejoining Hill Hiker. Take care and Happy Trails!! - Rovious