Day 53 – Sunday, May 1: Pearisburg, VA, Zero Day, 634.6 total AT miles.

I woke up early. I was stiff and sore after a terrible night sleeping. There’s been one persistent trail rumor that I now accept as fact. Canuck is a snuggler. I woke up several times in the night to find him clinging to me like a lemur monkey.
After a long shower, I dressed. I again carefully taped my heel before slipping on my new camp shoes and shuffling down the DQ for breakfast.
I arrived as they were opening at 8:00 and ordered breakfast. As I sat to eat and update my blog, other hikers joined. The topic was the weather. Juan, Oriole and Sweet Potato were already committed to staying an extra night – Push was planning on moving on today regardless.
I kept checking the weather, noticing that the window for good hiking was closing rapidly – thunderstorms were still supposed to hit by noon. Then, at 8:40, we all got an alert through the Weather Channel app. Pearisburg and the surrounding towns were now under a severe thunderstorm warning, with high winds and 1 to 2 inches of rain in the immediate forecast.
I consulted with Savage and Michael. My feet were doing better, but I wasn’t too keen on rushing out just to get pinned down by severe weather. It was decided that the three of us would book a new room and wait this thing out. I assumed it would be for the best.
I moved my pack to my new room and plopped down on the bed. I was still tired. Savage and Michael moved in as I was falling asleep. I woke at noon feeling a little more refreshed.
The three of us hung out in the hotel room and watched tv. There really isn’t much to do in Pearisburg and I wasn’t quite ready to get schooled in pool at the Mexican restaurant again. I drifted off again.
This time I awoke at 6:00 – I had been napping for almost three hours. I guess I really needed to catch up on my sleep. I walked outside and was surprised to see blue skies. It hadn’t rained a drop. I checked the weather app to find the thunderstorms slated for today had never come – in fact, it was now supposed to be dry for most of the night.
While I was a little disappointed, I was thankful I stayed. My feet, and body, really needed the extra rest. The three of us walked over to the Mexican restaurant for dinner and pool.
After a few quick games, I again left early and headed for the room. I was hungry, but didn’t want Mexican again. I eventually settled on frozen fried chicken from the Food Lion down the street and returned to my room to make dinner.
While I was cooking (microwaving), I got a call from Medicine Man. He was in Bland, VA (about 30 miles away) and wanted to catch up. Before long, I found him hopping out of a shuttle and booking a room at our hotel. It was great to see him again. I knew he was pushing hard to catch up, but had no idea how far behind he was due to the limited cell service I’d had the past 100 miles or so.
After he checked in, he brought a surprise over to our room – a new pair of hair clippers. Moon Boots shaved off his mohawk – Medicine Man decided to keep his, opting for a quick touch up.
By 9:00, the hair party was over, everyone returning to their rooms to sleep.
A few things: Leaving Pearisburg tomorrow will likely mean saying goodbye to Moon Boots and Canuck for a while. They want to see a show in Richmond, VA on Wednesday and won’t be making the push to Daleville, VA with me.
Savage and Michael (now Black Santa – Monster threw this one out and it stuck) will be hiking out with me. Medicine Man (and Summer) is also keen on leaving early tomorrow.
It’s my hope to make it the 20 miles tomorrow to The Captain’s – a private home located just off the AT. The Captain installed a zip line so hikers could cross the river and tent on his property.
We actually have some cool hiking ahead. I’ll pass the Keffer Oak, the largest on the southern AT, on Tuesday and should be having lunch at McAfee Knob on Wednesday. It’s my plan to hike the 90-plus miles to Daleville, VA by Thursday evening or Friday morning.
I’ll be ready to go first thing tomorrow. I bought some new Band-Aids from the Rite-Aid that are specifically for heel blisters. We’ll see how they work out.
Breakfast: 3 pancakes, sausage biscuit, hashbrowns, coffee
Lunch: I slept through lunch.
Dinner: Tyson frozen fried chicken, Frank’s Red Hot, Lance chips, crispy sweet peas, Klondike s’mores ice cream bar 

Author: Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...

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