Bearwallow Gap/VA 43(745.6)-Black Rock Overlook(761.8) Virginia
Elevation chart courtesy of Guthook’s AT Hiker app. He has apps for many trails including the PCT and CDT.
Oh how I enjoy lounging in a hotel room! Ferris and I both woke up around 7am. As we each laid there in the dark on our phones, Ferris pointed out that we’d already be packed up and hiking if we were on trail and we both were very happy to relax. The time in town always flies by and before I know it, it’s time to leave. I was able to catch up on Survivor except for he finale, oh the suspense! Maybe in the next town. Then I watched half of a Greys Anatomy episode. We went to the continental breakfast where I took full advantage and stuffed as much as I could in me and took plenty back to the room while Ferris snacked excited to go next door to Cracker Barrel for a real breakfast. I was picked up at 11am by one of Homer’s sons(I forgot to take a photo) and driven up trail to where Coach K had picked me up yesterday. Ferris was hiking out directly from town since he hadn’t done the extra day of hiking I did north of Daleville. This is where we part and who knows if we’ll see each other again. Ferris was a great sport and tolerated me and the miles well. Thanks for the company Ferris! Here he is as he hiked out with his new shoes and compression socks that may help with some of the leg pain. Bye Ferris!
I started hiking by 11:45am. The hiking today was quite wooded with two views, but the weather is just really pleasant. I even checked the weather forecast and they used the word pleasant to describe it. I just can’t believe how fortunate I’ve been with weather so far and this week looks great with low humidity and highs in the upper 70s or low 80s. Today had wind gusts that were mostly blocked by the trees, but I would get goosebumps if I stopped hiking. Just great hiking weather and I’m gonna enjoy it while it lasts.
I hiked alone for the day and saw many others in passing. A group was at a road attempting to hitch and one of the hikers had heard about me and we talked for a bit. Later at a water source, another small group was there and someone recognized me who is wanting to do the CDT next summer, so we talked for a bit too. Other than that, I got to enjoy the great day and listened to more of Allegiant. I’ve been listening to it here and there the last couple of weeks and will probably finish it tomorrow. It’s the final book in the Divergent series and the least interesting of the three if you ask me, but still entertaining for hiking. There was a lot of uphill today and I have a lot of food in my pack for the next five days so I wasn’t moving too fast. My hunger kicked in last leg so I upped the quantity of food. It may have been a fluke due to the colder weather last week, but I want to not worry about how much I eat, so I brought plenty.
While I was in town, I solidified plans to have my stepmom and some family friends visit me in Harpers Ferry. That is about two weeks from now, so I made a conservative plan and have a zero day set for Harpers as a buffer if weather or anything delays me. It was a relief to get that figured out as I’ve known since the beginning that they were coming to Harpers. It’s fun to have visitors to look forward to!
At a water source, I had to step into a bit of brush. When I walked out, I saw my first tick on crawling quickly on my leg! It was a bigger one I think called wood ticks that supposedly don’t carry Lyme Disease. It moved fast down my gaiter and off me so I got a quick photo. I’ve met one person that’s gotten Lyme already this hike so ok totally paranoid. I’ve had my clothes treated professionally with permethrin which will last the whole hike and just need to keep checking to make sure none get “attached.”
At the end of the day today, I reached a shelter with camping a bit early so I decided to risk it and hike on hoping to find a solo spot a mile or two north where the terrain looked flat. Of course that’s when I entered a dense tunnel of rhododendrons and large rock boulders. I worried I’d made the right choice and then I came to the short side trail for Black Rock Overlook. Just to the side of the intersection there was a perfect spot for one tent. I went to the overlook nearby and it was nice and really windy. I could barely stand up and got a panoramic photo that is slightly blurry from the sun. Nice though!
I’m so comfy in my tent and it’s perfect sleeping temperature. The wind gusts are strong and I can hear it through the trees all around me, but I’m in such a good spot that’s completely sheltered from it. Plus, another night with LTE so I get to watch a bit of the Greys Anatomy episode I stared earlier. Best way to end a day for me!