The epic journey of a sibling pair as they trek 2,181 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachia Trail.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Soggy Return

Returning to the trail this time was very difficult for Hansel and Gretel.  All the novelty is gone and they knew the challenges that would be facing them.  After a week with their family, it was tough to go back into the isolation of the woods and their bodies had forgotten how to be thru-hikers.  They were more sore now than they had ever been.  Gretel's knee is aching and Hansel's boots are causing him plenty of pain.  He has been walking with his shoes untied (which provides absolutely no support) so they will stop pressing on one of his nerves.

It also did not help that their first day back on the Trail was a long one with some unwelcome complications.  They started their hike a bit later than they would have liked in pouring rain.  Luckily, t did clear up in the middle of the day.  They had expected to arrive at the shelter around 9pm, but Hansel made it by 8:15.  Five minutes later, the cats and dogs returned and it was pouring rain once again.  By 9 o'clock, Gretel still had not arrived.  At this point, Hansel put his boots back on and set off to look for his sister.  After walking a quarter of a mile in the dark and pouring rain, he decided to return to the shelter.  It did not make sense for both of them to be out in the rain and walking alone in the dark increased the possibility of both of them getting lost.  He knew Gretel had the right gear for the rain and at least the air temperature was still warm so she wouldn't be freezing in the woods by herself.  Hansel returned to camp where he was met by two older thru-hikers, Booksmarts and Caveman, who offered to join him and go look for Gretel.  Just before the search party was about to return to the forest, they spotted Gretel's glowing headlamp approaching from between the trees!  She made it!

When she reached the camp she explained that at about 8:30 she started to wonder if she had mistakenly passed the shelter.  It was dark and perhaps she missed a turn, so she decided to walk backwards to be sure she had not already passed it.  Little did she know, she had only two tenths of a mile to go before she decided to turn around.  Wet and weary, she sank into the hard floor boards of the shelter and Booksmarts and Caveman rejuvenated her with some hot chocolate.

The next night, Hansel and Gretel found some comfort in staying at a hostel in Waynesboro, VA.  It was located at Grace Lutheran Church which reminded them of home since the church we grew up in is Lutheran.  They had a "Fellowship Hall" and and they slept on cots similar to the ones we used to help set up at Calvary.  They also happened to have the BEST showers because they had seats in them.  Who can resist the opportunity to sit while you scrub?

Happy trails and elevated spirits.

A biscuit for the road... I mean trail.

Hansel and Gretel are disappearing into the trees... 
you might be able to make them out.
A Very Awesome Woodpecker 

Hitching... an aqua pick-up!

The wind in his hair!

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