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Dirk's Rambles

Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 6:40 am

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I stayed last night at the Priest Shelter at mile 829.7. I was the only one sleeping inside the shelter though there were a couple of hikers who tent camped nearby. Many hikers came through this shelter to get water, only to move up the trail to sleep at the cliffs a quarter mile away. They hope to watch the sunset and sunrise. I didn't know any of them, except for one. I am traveling in a different bubble. A bubble is a glut of hikers traveling in the same time frame. I have been moving in and out of different bubbles almost the whole time I have been on the trail.

This was my second night on the trail after spending the weekend with Theresa, Bill and Sally Wells, and Calves. We had a great time! Visited Devils Backbone Brewery but basically just hung out with my wife and my friends. It was also great seeing cousin Barb and her son. They were both fun to be around and I appreciated their efforts to get there, as well as Bill and Sally's generosity for the condominium. And Theresa's big effort to get there!

I have a big day today climbing and descending mountains. I have a decline of more than 3,000 feet from the top of Priest Mountain to VA 56. Then I have a slow climb of 3,000 feet to the top of Three Ridge Mountain. I'm only walking a total of 14 miles but much of it is a steep down hill and a long but steady uphill. I will be taking it easy due to my recent shin splints.

The last two days I have not felt pain in my shins. The first day (May 30) I only walked 6.2 miles since I didn't get started until 1:30 pm. Yesterday (May 31) I walked 14.3 miles. I am starting slow due to the injury. So today's walk will be a test.

In the shelter last night I met a guy section hiking the trail by the name of Posey Picker. He is a retired college professor who taught botany. He has thru hiked the AT three times and the PCT once. He did them all plus numerous shorter hikes with a Kelty external frame backpack that he bought in 1975. It was the state of the art backpack then. Kelty is going to use him for advertising. They are giving him a new external frame pack made with titanium.
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