Weekend on the AT

We went camping last weekend at Crabtree Falls, which is a part of the Appalachian Trail, in south central Virginia sorta near Lynchburg. When we first got there, we were attacked by a swarm of mating ladybugs… I was picking them out of my car all the way home. We were originally going to hike the whole falls, but got up to the mountain a wee bit late so we just did the 2 mile hike up to the shelter…did I mention this was basically 2 miles of vertical torture…sometimes i’m juts a glutton for punishment. Nothing humbles you more than having to stop after maybe 20 steps up a leafy incline.

Anyways, so we went camping for the night and we were originally just going to stay in the shelter that is there, but decided against it once one of the Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, Roots Rock (they nickname themselves…cute huh), told us that it wouldn’t be too kind to the other hikers…so we used our tents instead (major upgrade anyways since they probably woulda mooched all of our supplies away from us). We collected a rather large pile of fire wood, climbed to the peak to see lotsa trees, came back and prepped for our lovely hobo dinners…aka lotsa starch in an aluminum shaped burrito (even though each of us chose a different shape…the joy of personality differences), and continued to be the loudest most obnoxious group there, yay us :).

For the greater part of our trip, we were coughforcedcough to talk with many of the Appalachian trail hikers who are DESPERATE to talk to anyone who doesn’t smell like campfire and body odor…oh and they loved that we had beer (bringing us fire wood in hopes that we would give them beer…they failed to see the big pile we collected ourselves).

I asked all of them what they missed most…one of them said he missed Carpet…really? ….carpet…not your family, friends, having money, driving, soda… but Carpet??? I don’t know if I would miss carpet…but i’m sure i’d miss something a bit more substantial than…carpet.

We learned all about “trail magic” aka when people leave treats for hikers at shelters and things. We learned about those who have gotten MRSA and staph infections, those who have lost upwards of 50 pounds, their impressive story of 50 mile hikes, their girlfriends they’ve left back at the real world, and their apparent distaste for being a contributing member of society just yet… fascinating. Many of them have no clue what they are going to do when the trip is over, which I guess is exciting, but would drive me insane (i’m what you call a “planner”)… One of them, “Roots Rock”, spent 7 months in New Zealand for 7 months growing Kiwi’s…which he now hates… but its fascinating to imagine my life being so unplanned… its certainly not something I would welcome, but it would be an adventure. It was extremely challenging to not straight up ask some of them what they felt their purpose was or why on earth they were performing the biggest act of procrastination I could think of…

You’ll never catch me hiking the trail for 5 months, spending 7 months in New Zealand growing Kiwi’s, or hitch hiking my way across the country, but it was an interesting experience and challenged me to take advantage of the simple things… like showers and beds and pillows…however, I think im good on the whole camping thing for awhile…

We stopped by my ole alma mater JMU on the way home which I haven’t been to in nearly 3 years and we all made a bee line for the Daves Taratsa…within minutes I had a wonderful plate of spanikopita and the epitome of food happiness in the form of their Veggie Pita and fries… I went from a glutton for punishment to a glutton of food all in one weekend… success.

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