I didn’t take notes during this section, but have a few photos to share.
May 20. 311 in Catawba,VA to Lambert Meadows Shelter 714.6
The hostel was so loud until 2p last night that I didn’t sleep well. Hard hiking day.
Got a ride to 311 from a a Trail Angel who stayed in a tent last night. It was 9a before I started hiking, a late start for me. It was almost 5 miles up to McAfee Knob, the most photographed spot on the AT.
Walking down from McAfee Knob I ran into Shepard, a 2013 thru hiker I met in November last year as he was finishing. I was doing a shake down hike on the first 30 miles of the AT. Fresh Ground had his Leap Frog Cafe set up at Woody Gap. When I arrived there was a reunion of sorts–Roosta, Pancake, Rainbow Braid & Shepard were there. They all encouraged me and gave me tips on hiking the trail. We took a photo that Shepard will send to Fresh Ground. I hope it cheers him up. It’s been a tough year for Fresh Ground. His dog Dottie died when he was feeding hikers at Fontana Dam. Then he moved north and was in a car accident. He wasn’t hurt, but it took several days to sort through the insurance and get repairs.
I saw 3 deer today and none of them were frightened of me. They let me get very close to them before throwing up that white tail and running off. I’m always impressed with how graceful they are and such strength! I wish I could leap like that. Most of the time I just plod along on the trail, one foot in front of the other. It’s not graceful, but it gets me there.
Late in the day was my favorite hike of all time: Tinker Cliffs. A quarter mile cliff walk. Breathtaking! Below in the valley was a lovely farm community with a river. Vultures were riding the thermals high above the valley, but eye level with me. Never seen anything like that before.
Met Hank from Texas on a break and we talked for awhile. Later we both set up camp near City Slicka for the night at the last spot with water before Daleville.
saw 14 orchids today.
May 21 Lambert Meadows Shelter 714.6 to Daleville, VA 724.0
Out of the camp by 7a on what ‘should’ have been an easy 10 mile walk. But the rocks were awful. Great views, but my feet were so sore by the time I hit the Howard Johnson’s that I could barely stand at the counter long enough to get a room. Got there at 1pm. I showered and lay in bed 2 hours before going to the outfitters for a summer weight bag. Had pizza with Hank and worked on the blog.