Posted by: athike2011 | May 18, 2011



Gravel spring hut

Woke up to pouring rain today. Lazed about for a while before deciding to head out. It took no more than 5 minutes for me to regret my decision to leave. The “trail” was a stream no less than an inch deep at any point. My hike quickly became a swim and my non waterproof shoes were like warm little steam rooms. However, today I believe even those with waterproof shoes found themselves swimming their miles today.

I managed to make it to the wayside, which was 11.8 miles away, in just barely over 3 hours. The last .7 of which just dumped rain and shot lightning all around me. I got in, dropped my pack under cover and went inside. The place was packed with Russian tourists and there was a crazy line to order food. In the mean time I took my shoes off and rang my socks out. During the process a strike of lightning knocked out the power in the wayside, a number of profanities were yelled. Not long after, the power came back on and I went inside to order.

Profanity warning for this video…

Enzed managed to roll her ankle badly and ended up hitching a ride to the hostel outside of front royal. I started to get my stuff together to head the 6 miles to the next shelter when I realized my water bladder was yet again leaking. Osprey is fired. I will be buying a platypus when I get the chance comes up.

Started hiking during the first non rainy part of the day, but that only lasted 5-10 mins. Hike was fine, but about 1.5 from the shelter I badly rolled my right ankle. I’ve rolled them both enough that I was able to mostly ignore that, then of course I slammed my right knee into a rock, which felt pretty bad, but once again was ignorable, however, my right foot, which has already been very swollen on top and sore, now feels even worse and every step is painful. Got to the shelter quite early, set up and have just laid around all afternoon.

UPDATE: So it turns out the ankle wasn’t that bad, but the knee kept me up most of the night and killed me most of the morning. If it isn’t better by harpers ferry, I’ll have to get it checked out.




  1. oh, ouch! your poor ankle and knee : ( Chris, this journey you’re on is amazing to follow from the comfort of my armchair, so to speak. I am so impressed by your perseverance and stamina. You have always been a remarkable young person and you continue to be. Easy does it out there, dude! We want you in one piece for that wedding ; )

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