Virginia is complicated but worth it. She lashed out at us yesterday with that nasty storm and tried to blow us off of Chestnut Knob. She must have felt especially bad for that because she put on quite a show for us today. Bright clean cold air followed us through our entire 20 mile hike. The breezes were so gentle and the temps were ideal in the mid 50s. She led us past our 600 mile mark and then to our campsite nestled next to a beautiful waterfall. A perfect day of hiking and easy conversation with my trail friend.
I felt absolutely renewed after my fabulous 10 hour sleep at the Big Walker. The bed was so soft and warm and I piled pillows all around me and slept so soundly. I don’t think I moved an inch all night and woke up happy and excited to hit the trail again. I went down to get breakfast at Dairy Queen/Gas Station combo (you didn’t know DQ served breakfast, did you?) and found myself ordering from the calorie column on the menu. “Good morning, I’ll have the 1,490 combo please. Yeah, yeah – the sausage biscuit thing.” Honestly, I didn’t care what it was but just needed as many calories that I could get. Even after last night’s town food orgy I was starving. The whole “hiker hunger” thing is for real. For real real. We are supposed to be out here solving our deepest questions about life and who we are but all we talk about is food. If we aren’t talking about food, we are either eating food or trying to get more food. This leads to more talking about food. Ahh, can’t get out of the loop!
After dinner tonight of macaroni and cheese with salmon and lentil salad, we disagreed on how many sour patch kids are too many. I am in the camp that says we shouldn’t eat a bag a day or else we will rot our teeth out. Mallwalker respectfully disagrees and thinks the serving sizes translated into hiker portions totally make sense. One bag per day is dead on. He might be right but either way we are going to find out here soon enough. We went through 3 bags since Atkins, VA. Data will be available soon.
Seriously though. We are always hungry. I have been writing a lot about junk food but I am eating quite well actually. The Outdoor Herbivore (OH) dehydrated meals that I sent ahead to myself form the core of my food bag. Their meals are so good and are made with really terrific ingredients. Their Waldorf slaw salad with broccoli, ginger and garlic is my favorite. They also have great quinoa burrito stuffers. My favorite OH sweet treat are the dehydrated banana chips covered in cinnamon called “Cinna Monkey Chomps.” It’s so fun to say as well. I supplement that with easy rice/macaroni + tuna/salmon burritos and make cheese and sausage roll ups for lunch. I always hike out of town with some fresh fruit. So, all the falling, head banging and tripping in waterfalls is not because I’m stumbling around in a junk food coma. Just a klutz that comes by it honestly.
Today and tomorrow are going to be great food days. We will be In Pearisburg in 2 days to resupply so we can let loose on the feed bag. Hikers guard their food carefully and measure each meal so they know they can make their food last. Sharing food really isn’t a thing unless you are trying to drop some pack weight. Once you know you are going to have more than enough food to get to the next resupply it is fun to gorge a little. Not sharing – just cramming for yourself. Today, I doubled my snacks and felt so much better coming into camp. All while the pack grows lighter. A full belly and a happy back.
The next two days look like they will be wet but no stress since we will be in town at the end of it. We’ll have a chance to load up our food bags again for another 10 day push. Sour patch kids are definitely coming with us. Yeah, and the health food too. Geez.