I’ve said it before but the coolest thing about a north bound thru hike is chasing spring. We see new things every day and then see them again the next week as we move farther north. Today’s hike was a really impressive showing of the spring show that Virginia puts on. It all started with some intense spring thunderstorms this morning. The lightning woke me up at 3AM and you could hear a monster of a storm starting to roll through our valley.
The thunder was the best part of the storm. It boomed for minutes and then echoed down and across the valleys forever. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such an intense storm in a tent but it was amazing. I stayed totally dry and was able to fall back asleep once the lightning show was past and the steady rain fell on my rain fly. When we got moving around 7, the air was super clean and the sky a bright blue. A perfect day for our hilly 18 mile day.
We were greeted by a cheerful bunch of little yellow daisies in our first field and the birds were especially talkative after the rain storm. We scared a rabbit in the field and then came across these sweet little orange geckos on the trail. They were hanging out and didn’t really want to be bothered so we moved on.
We took a really long lunch and dried out our tents from the storm and then pushed the last 10 miles. We came upon a creek that used to be crossed by a large bridge that had recently been washed out. We forded the cold creek in our camp shoes and the water rejuvenated our feet.
When we got to the other side we were met by this group of colorful butterflies hanging out on the shore. They were also too busy to chat so we took a few minutes to dry off our feet and then headed up the last 6 miles of climbing into our camp.
Our camp tonight is on top of Chesnut Knob just over 4,000 feet. The views are great and the sun is out and the wind is howling. I hope my stakes keep my tent in the ground tonight. We are planning some big miles tomorrow and also looking forward to a well earned Nero in Pearisburg or thereabouts this coming Monday. Virginia continues to amaze me. Bring it on.