We woke on the very dewy front lawn of The Captain’s. My tent fly and foot print were very wet so I had to shake them off before packing them up. After packing, I grabbed my breakfast and joined Tandem, Mio, and a couple of other hikers on the back patio. We treated ourselves to the free Big K sodas and agreed that the black cherry is the best. Mio and I each grabbed another black cherry soda for the trail.
We were the last three to leave and cross the river on the the zip line. I successfully crossed this time without falling in. The next three miles were up hill 1300 feet, with a break at Bailey Gap shelter for a snack. The rest of the morning, through 13:00, we slowly climbed another 270 feet to a view at Wind Rock at 4100 feet, where we stopped there for lunch. This was a boots and shirts off stop.
We dropped sharply 1650 feet to the War Spur shelter, having gone 11.5 miles for the day. During that downhill, I began realizing that my swollen left shin that started on Monday with the 2000 foot drop into Pearisburg wasn’t improving. In fact, it was swelling further each day. I found Tandem and Mio by the water source, which was a pretty creek.
I told Tandem that I felt that my shin required medical attention. We evaluated our options and decided that a clinic in Daleville was the best bet due to the size of the town and medical center options.
None of us had cell coverage to call for a shuttle from VA 632, which was .8 miles down from the shelter. Mio had already left, so we loaded up, hoping that we would get cell coverage at the road. We didn’t.
We met Mio at the road, where he was writing us a note to wish us well and tell us how he had enjoyed hiking with us for the past two weeks. I used the back of the page to write a sign for someone to pick us up. After Mio left, we walked up 632 toward what we thought was VA 42, which looked like a busier road. However, we found a gate and no trespassing sign, so we went back to the AT.
We evaluated our options again and decided that if we climbed out of this gap we might get cell coverage. So we hiked on north 1200 feet up to Rocky Gap at VA 601. We did get cell coverage there and contacted shuttleman Del Schechterly in Daleville at 18:30.
Del told that he would pick us up in 90 minutes, since we were 60 miles and up a long gravel road from Daleville. We entertained ourselves by snacking and discussing what this delay did for our plans. It actually works out, since my son Christopher is being brought back from Villanova by my father in law and planned to meet us on Friday afternoon. Daleville is right on I-81, which makes it easy to get to us.
Del and his female companion arrived at 20:00, and we loaded into his two-wheel drive car. The ride back down gravel road VA 601 was interesting, and I was glad that it didn’t get dark before we got to pavement. It was another 90 minutes to the Howard Johnson’s in Daleville, and we enjoyed our conversations with Del.
We arrived and I paid him $100 for the shuttle. We checked in and moved into room 216, in what appeared to be the hiker block. I grabbed a six pack of Cokes for the fridge and a pint of Heavenly Hash ice cream from a gas station and enjoyed it before crashing.
The first of two zero days in Daleville, VA. We woke up early in Ho Jo’s, and I showered before going down for one of the worst hotel continental breakfasts I have ever had. I had donuts, bagel, cereal, OJ, and a waffle. The eggs were overcooked in the pan over the Sterno.
After breakfast, I walked down to the Velocity Clinic, which is about 1/4 mile from the hotel. I waited for an hour to be seen and twenty more minutes in the back room before the doctor saw me. The diagnosis was that there was nothing broken but that there was stress on the shin and possible infection. I was prescribed a few day’s rest, fewer miles daily, a week’s worth of antibiotics, and Aleve.
The plan is to continue resting the leg until Saturday morning when my fathe-in-law takes us back to Rocky Gap on his way home with Christopher.
Tandem and I met at the Three Li’l Pigs BBQ restaurant and had a big lunch and a pitcher of beer. We also got bowls of banana pudding with Nilla Wafers and banana slices for free for being through hikers.
The restaurant had a hiker logbook to sign, and each table had the Pass The Pigs game, which we had played at the Wapiti shelter on day 49. I sent Mio a picture of the game and told him that they sell them also.
We took our over full stomachs back to the hotel, and I crashed for a four hour nap. We ate leftover BBQ later and started organizing our packs. We are both sending home a few pounds of cold weather clothing and odds and ends with Christopher. We will also be backing up our trail pictures and videos to his laptop. The shin is still sore, but feeling better.