Bearfence Mountain Hut to Rock Spring Hut
Miles Hiked: 11.5
AT Milage: 929.7
This morning I planned to meet my friend from college, Monica, and her mom at a parking lot that was about one mile north of the shelter I was staying out on the trail. Monica and her family live right outside of Shenandoah NP and she wanted to visit me on the trail because she was excited about my hike! Before I met her I went over a rock scramble called Bearfence Mountain Rock Scramble. It took me so long to hike this mile because I was going slow using my hands to climb on the rocks with my giant pack throwing me off balance. By the time I got to the parking lot it was 7:50 and I wanted to have a long break to sit down. It worked out perfectly that Monica and her mom didn’t end up making it to me until 8:20 so I had some time to relax in my chair and rest my feet.
Monica and her mom hiked with me for five miles and I didn’t have to carry my pack since I put it in their car which was super nice. I always feel so light without that thing weighing me down. It was so nice to catch up with Monica and talk to someone from back home in Ohio. I’ve been getting homesick and lately and she was a familiar face. Not only did she come to keep me company, and slack pack me, but she also brought me cliff bars, trail mix, M&Ms, and ice cold drinks. I was so happy. Thank you Monica and mom for taking time out of your busy days to spend with me on the trail! It was great seeing you guys and hearing about Shenandoah/ Virginia from some locals.
After they left, I ran into Broadweigh who was hiking with Hawkeye for the day. I thought this was super nice, and both Hawkeye and his Father seemed to need a little break from each other. Broadweigh and I were laughing about how we could sympathize with both Hawkeye and his father’s frustrations with each other. It wasn’t that long ago that we were Hawkeye’s age, annoying our parents and only seeing things through the eyes of a kid. We also could understand Waffle’s frustrations with the things that his son would do, such as not cooperating with him to get out of bed at a reasonable time in the morning. I joined in and hiked with the pair for the day since Hawkeye was going slow enough for me to keep up. It was nice to be in the company of a much younger person for the day! I haven’t talked to a younger person in such a long time.
Eventually we all met up with Waffle, who was waiting for us to go to the wayside with him to get food. At the wayside I bought some chips and an ice-cream along with some post cards to mail and a patch to stick on my backpack. I was hoping for hot food but the grill was closed. I planned on doing another longer day, close to twenty miles, but since it was so late by the time I finished my lunch I decided to keep it a short day and take it easy on my feet. Right before the shelter, I sat down to make a phone call to my best friend, Teresa, which lasted over an hour. I miss her a lot and I’m glad I took the time to make a call. I feel like I just keep getting more homesick every day recently. I think part of it is that I miss hiking with my sister and my good trail friends, who are a few days behind me. I hope they catch up to me after I take a few zeros on the fourth of July when my boyfriend comes to visit. I was going to meet back up with my sister in Harpers Ferry, but since my feet started hurting so bad and I’ve had to slow down I missed the opportunity to catch up with her. She is trying to hike as far as she can go on the trail since she has a limited amount of time. Myself, on the other hand, has planned to take the maximum amount of time possible that I need to finish this hike. I don’t have a deadline other than mid October when the end of the trail closes due to the Northern weather.
Eventually I made it to the shelter where I camped with Broadweigh, Frog, Waffle, Hawkeye, and a guy named Randy. They found some extra food in the bear box that someone left behind and I ended up getting a free “good to go” dehydrated meal of thai curry. I was super excited about it. This is a type of backpacking food that is pretty expensive to eat so I have never bought it for myself. I told myself that I would do it one day as a treat, but today I got it for free! It was the best hot meal I’ve eaten on the trail to date. I still don’t think I would spend the money that it costs though unless it was on sale or a special treat. Its a lot cheaper to eat $1 boxes of macaroni for dinner. Luckily we got a see a nice sunset from the shelter. It was a good night.