Miles Hiked: 12.5
Miles Left: 1664.8
Ending Location: Trimpi Shelter
First things first: Owl is feeling much better! After his symptoms persisted he stopped by an urgent care center where he was diagnosed with Giardia. They started him on a cocktail of drugs so now he just has to eat more and is banned from drinking alcohol for a while since that apparently reacts poorly with his medication. Both of us are perplexed how he got it considering with the two week incubation period we were double treating all our water when he was infected. I guess that’s just a hazard of living in the woods. Owl is now using an UV water purifier to make sure he kills all the nastiness. I considered it as well, but in the end I just bought a new filter for my pump.
Time really flew by in Blacksburg. That was doubly true once my girlfriend and Owl’s wife arrived. We reluctantly said goodby to them on Monday and headed back to the trail. Owl volunteered to drop me off at the trailhead where we originally hitched a ride and then return the rental car. The plan then was to meet up at Partnership shelter in two days time.
The weather couldn’t have been better and it was interesting hiking up Hurricane Mountain for the second time since it was fun trying to spot some of the half remembered landmarks such as the tree covered in Christmas ornaments. I stopped by the shelter to check the logbook and ended up stopping to chat with a couple new hikers I haven’t met before. Well I guess I’m the new hiker since after a week off the trail I’m in a completely different bubble.
Wanting to do more than four miles I pushed on to the next shelter. I briefly considered camping since there was no way I was going to make it before it turned dark but I decided to try night hiking again. Like last time it turned out to be a lot of fun. My favorite moment was stopping for dinner and reading my kindle under the stars. I also ended up chasing a rabbit down the trail for quite a ways as it would keep pace hopping ahead of me. Maybe it thought the coyotes would eat me first…
Arriving at the shelter I found it absolutely packed. Not only was the shelter full but there were tents everywhere. I later discovered that a bunch of people stayed in town for Easter weekend so several bubbles had merged. I ended setting up my tent a short ways away from the shelter, (luckily there were tons of good camping spots), and promptly fell asleep.