May 3, 2000

Campbell Shelter, Va 16 Miles Hiked Today 693 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

The "Two Swedes" descend Dragon's ToothToday was a tiring hike for some reason. I think it was the mid-afternoon heat. For lunch I gave myself a treat and took a road .4 miles to get some milk and call Whitney. When I got there, I realized I was at another road and could take it back to the trail, saving three miles. I decided not to and was glad. Part of the mileage was through rolling green hills and farmland. The smell of sweet green grass and cow flop was quite relaxing, as gross as that sounds. The trail also followed a stream for quite some time. Very scenic. I also had to hike through sections where bouldering (a rock-climbing term for rock-climbing near the ground without safety equipment) was needed. It sure slowed me down a lot.

Views from near Dragon's ToothToday also marked the 4th day in a row of Trail Magic. Someone left water near a road crossing and just before shelter, someone left Busch beer. It went down smooth! The scary part is that this morning I heard a radio commercial for Busch in which they talk about how its smooth as a running river and you, if camping, should store you beer where it can be kept cool, near a flat tent site, in the water. I even thought that a beer sure sounded good and maybe I would buy one. Lo and behold, Trail Magic provides, and accurately, too!

More from yesterday...I saw several lizards, a deer, and either a groundhog or woodchuck, not sure which...

View from McAfee Knob - supposedly the best view in VirginiaYesterday morning, as I hiked north from the shelter, it smelled like the woods near the lake house my grandparents owned 20+ years ago. I think that's cool, the way our brain stores those memories. Then, when I got to the red-roofed farmhouse and bought the orange juice, I was again reminded of my grandfather who died when I was six or seven. He used to keep a supply of O.J., apple juice, and grapefruit juice (among other things I'm sure) in a refrigerator in the garage/barn at the lake house. It was the same kind, the kind that comes in the small cans with the metallic paper pull tab. We used to drink those when doing "man work" outside or in the garage so we didn't have to take off our dirty shoes and clothes in order to go into the house. What a great memory. He was an avid outdoorsman - fishing, hiking, hunting - and it made me wonder. What would he think of this trip? Does he realize what an affect he has had on my life, even in the little bit of time we knew each other? No wonder my mom (his daughter) & sister think he and I would have made great friends.

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