Wish I’d gotten in better shape for Phase 2 of the Appalachian Trail. This morning, April 18, 2019, my friend Steve (who drove me from Missouri to Roanoke, VA, yesterday) dropped me off in the rain at a wide place in the road on VA Route 624 near Catawba, VA. I put on my backpack walked off into the trees.
After only six miles up and over indescribably beautiful mountaintops, ranging from 1,800 to 3,150 feet, I was spent. VA Route 311 appeared in the valley below, so I stumbled down into the parking lot, cried “Uncle” and called Four Pines Hostel. Joe, who owns the Hostel with his wife, Donna, mercifully drove the five road-miles to pick me up.
At the hostel, most everyone was loading up in a van to head to The Homestead, arguably the finest restaurant on the AT; but, having just begun AT Phase 2, I hadn’t yet developed “hiker hunger” so I declined.
Later, when the group returned to the bunkhouse, I witnessed the following profound hiker conversation:
Hiker 1: I have a friend who’s Mormon, so I once read the entire Book of Mormon just so I could be accurate when I made fun of him.
Hiker 2: Mormon? He should be a Catholic! To become a saint all you have to do is perform three miracles while you’re alive and then three after you’re dead.
Hiker 1: Dude, how are you gonna perform three miracles after you’re dead?
Hiker 2: You’re a saint, man! Figure it out!
Hiker 3 (picking up a book): Ah, a math book. Think I’ll sit and read a little.
Hiker 1: A math book? Why would you read a math book?
Hiker 3: Why wouldn’t you? Oh, that’s right, you can’t read.
On and on throughout the evening until lights out at 10:00 p.m. Severe storms are forecast for tomorrow so I’m taking my first zero. Walk a day, rest a day. I may stick to this plan.