|Beautiful Drive to VA|
|Finish of Delaware Marathon|
The month started off with a week of NO RUNNING while I joined 4 hiking buddies on a 50 mile, 5 day hike on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked a very beautiful part of the trail in Virginia know as Shenandoah National Park. It was absolutely gorgeous and we had near perfect weather the entire trip. When Mike (Maroney) and I arrived on Sunday Oct. 4, the locals told us it had been raining for the past 11 days straight.
|AT Hike - Start of 5 day hike|
This was the third time I have hiked with this group. We are what you call "section hikers" in that we only hike a particular section of the trail. This is as opposed to "thru-hikers" which hike the entire 2159 mile trail in one season. The middle guy in the picture (John "Churchill" Bitner) actually thru-hiked the trail back in 2010 as a Sobo (South Bounder) but now he comes out every year or so with us hiker wanabees and shows us the ropes.
It is quite a commitment to thru-hike this trail and requires quite a bit of planning and coordination to re-supply and carry just enough to get you to the next point without breaking your back trying to carry everything you "think" you might need. Thru-hikers are a different breed and it was an honor to get to get to meet several Sobo's on our trek through VA which is the lower half of the trail.
|Toe Surgery in Tent|
|Duct tape can "fix" anything!|
|Coffee Break on Trail|
|Snake by My Tent!!|
grade, so I couldn't see which way he went as he got to the ground. Oh no! Again, I just kept on moving away and looked back frequently but never saw him again...but boy, did that get my heart rate going! I was the only one of our group of 5 that saw a bear all week (and survived to tell about it!) so I felt pretty fortunate. Other wildlife sightings included deer close enough (and tame enough) to pet, gray squirrels, chipmunks, birds and of course a 6 foot black/white snake on day 3 just 10 feet from the tent I just set up...I watched him climb into the trees to get some sun and he just left me alone after that.
|RR Crossing on Appalachian Trail|
Another sort of injury occurred during the hike as I started lacing my hiking boots very tight to avoid the slippage which seemed to be causing the blisters. While this did keep my feet from sliding around in the boots, it seemed to put a lot of stress on my ankles. My right ankle began to swell on the third day and even after loosening the boots it didn't seem to recover. Again, more healing prayers were answered as I finished off the week and took each day "one at a time" to try to recover before the marathon just one week away.
|Autumn on Anthony Road, |
a "Tunnel of Trees"
|Start of the Dover Delaware Wounded Warrior Project |
Monster Mash Marathon - October 17, 2015
|Monster Mile Statue|
|Liberty Bell Sidetrip|
|A REAL Philly Cheese-steak|
October Mileage = 86.18 miles (low, but lots of much needed rest!)