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Mile 601.9—Bush camp [17.1 miles]
Sunday, May 5

Man, the hundreds are coming quick this time, aren’t they?

No bears last night, but it rained buckets. Then it rained all morning, hard—but just 2 miles ahead, my leapfrog buddies Tye and Mike just got sprinkles. That’s the second or third time that the weather’s been substantially different just a few miles away.

Foggy today, although the sun finally peeked out at around 5 pm. The trail was pretty dead. I think a lot of people fled into town (Bland, VA) to get out of the rain. Or the non-rain.

The trail was easy, easy walking today. Soft and brown, despite the mud. It was like an apology for the last two days, which were difficult. In fact, I heard from Thunderpee’s friend Gunner that she almost quit. Instead, she took a nero in town, and today she’s back on trail. I haven’t seen her, though.

The trail in Virginia is getting very bushy. The full green tunnel isn’t here yet, but soon. Soon.

Six hundred! The Proclaimers should write that song. Also, apparently back at 500, somebody made a ‘500’ out of pony turds. (I missed it.) See, this is why hikers just fist-bump, and don’t shake hands.

Tomorrow: Cheeseburger at Trent’s Grocery, a famous trail dump. I made a reservation for Wednesday night in Pearisburg, so I’ll nero into there sometime Wednesday. Shower, buy groceries, eat a couple of meals.

Mmm. Cheeseburger.

Chutes and ladders

Mile 569.8—Chestnut Knob Shelter [14.8 miles]
Friday, May 3

Mile 584.8—Laurel Creek [15.0 miles]
Saturday, May 4
[May the Fourth be with you!]

I’m trying to save battery, so I’ve been light on record-keeping. Also, as the rain patters the tent like a tiny parade, it’s been two nights of rain and thunder. (Thunderpee survived. She’s getting brave! Also, she and her two Scandinavian friends haven’t been looking for poison ivy, which is freaking everywhere. Uh-oh.)

Two of my hiking buddies got video of bears here, just a couple of hours ago. Uh-oh. Hopefully the 15 tents and the pouring rain will keep the bears away. There seems to be a lot more bear activity this time, but maybe that’s just because Guthooks makes it easy to share info.

What else? Virginia’s hard, yo. The not-mentioned reason for the Virginia Blues: Virginia’s just hard. Rocky, lots of up, tons of poison ivy, lack of easy camping spots (so we get all sphinctered up, like here), and the first real exposure to sustained heat and humidity. Uh-oh.

My pack stinks like Satan’s armpit.

Oh! I fell on my backside today! Slipped on a slimy rock. Luckily, it’s still the heftiest part of me.