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800, yo!

Mile 806.8—Bush camp [14.8 miles]
Monday, May 20

Guess who’s going to be in Shenandoah over Memorial Day weekend? Oy vey! Well, at least it’s not Disney. I totally forgot about Memorial Day. Pilgrim reminded me.

800! There were the usual two (sometimes three) shrines. Not sure what’s up with that. One of them was directly across the trail, so we wouldn’t miss it. Thank god, because I forgot about it, and I would have missed it. 😆

I’m finding the heat and humidity to be unexpectedly challenging. I guess I’ll adjust!

Nice trail today—pine forests and little creeks. I’ve been starting at 5:30 to get in some miles early, but even by 6:30 it’s starting to get hot. I stopped pretty early today at the very base of the climb that leads to the ridgewalk that ends at the Priest (mountain and shelter). I’m going to start paying better attention to where the big climbs are, and try to set myself up to tackle those at 5:30 AM. (Wish I could manage 5:00, but getting started in the morning is also challenging. To start hiking at 5:30, I have to set the alarm for 3:45 and fight for 45 minutes before I can force myself to motivate. It’s all good, though. It is what it is! 😁)

I must have 20 or more mosquito bites. What’s coming out now are the little flesh-eating gnats. Might have to break out the bug pants! Actually, I wore them once, to cross a mile-long field of waist-high grass with practically no trail to speak of. That’s one of my least favorite types of trail.

What else? Not much! I’ve been thinking about things that used to just kill me, but that don’t bother me anymore. Like false summits. I used to detest them with a white hot passion. Now I’m like, “Meh. If you haven’t walked for 30 or 40 minutes, you’re not at the top of this mile.” I don’t even think of them as false summits—just ‘not there yets.’