On the Trail, again

Monday, June 6th, 2016
Niday Shelter (AT Mile 685.0, this Section mile 10.0)

Flying to Charlotte on the way to Roanoke and then the Trail, we fly at 4-5 miles a minute. It takes hours to hike that. I'm grateful for the speed, and mindful of the luxury.

I'm met in Roanoke by shuttle driver Homer. He thru'd in 2002 with his wife and then 9 and 11 year old kids. He is a big time trail maintainer with his team overseeing 33 shelters in Virginia. Putting on new roofs, building or repairing privies, building new shelters, they do it all. He then goes into a far ranging diatribe on the fall elections, not really paying much attention to my opinions, but finishes with, "well, we didn't solve nothin'." As he gets in his car he says, "Don't worry, Hillary will win." (I never stated a preference.)

Get on trail at 2 pm, he tells me to avoid the first shelter and shoot for the second to avoid the first's 0.4 mile entry/exit path. Meet Willow about a mile in, a 50-something Mom attempting a thru.  Hike together for a while, she talks. She also tells me there's no water at the first shelter, so I definitely have to shoot for the second even though it's relatively late in the day.

Find a little cell service a leave Deb a message that I'm on the trail and doing well. Trail is okay, some rocky spots, some nice views. Make it to Niday Shelter at 7:15 PM, 10-12 hikers here, less than I would have thought.


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