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Dirk's Rambles

Saturday, June 5, 2021, 9:48 pm

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Yesterday (June 4) we got a ride from Dr. Who at Stanimals up to the trail. I hiked 7.7 to Calf Mountain Shelter and decided to stay there for the night. The problem with going further is that I would have to walk another 13 miles to find an allowable place to camp. Since the rules are more rigid a National Park, I can only stay certain places. Allowable tent sites are not listed in Guthooks or my Appalachian Long Distance Hiker Association (ALDHA) guidebook, so to move forward beyond Calf Shelter, I would be flying blind.

So I hung out at the shelter with Tejas (Texas in Spanish), Traveler, Slingshot, and Two Weeks (TW). All of them are over 57 years old with Traveler is the oldest at 67. We had a great time. Most of the time we are around 20 somethings. It was a special treat being around people my own age.

I got up this morning at 5:45 am to prepare for my 20 mile hike. It will be the longest of my trek so far. Off I went at 7:05 am.

The trek was relatively flat walking. My shin splints started acting up at about the 15 mile point. I kept moving forward. Even though I had stretched and massaged my legs, they were still painful.

I had to walk fast because the camp store closed at 5 pm and that is where I was told to sign in to get a camp space at Loft Mountain Campgrounds inside the Shenandoah National Park. I made it by 4 pm. I met up with Tejas and his son, Issiah (trail name is Zey) and we decided to share the camp site.

We watched the sun set at the Ampitheatre, with the mountains backdropping the scene. It was beautiful! It has been a long time since I purposely sat down to watch a sun set. I wondered why....I need to take the time to do this more often. So peaceful.....
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