Wednesday, 4/29

AT Miles = 14.3 / 528.0
Other Miles = 0.2 / 21.2
Total Miles = 14.5 / 549.2

I was awake early this morning and rather than cook breakfast where I was camped I packed up my gear and hiked about 2 1/2 miles to Trimpi Shelter, where I got water and cooked my breakfast. I had a leisurely breakfast and then walked on. The weather this morning was warm and more humid than it has been the last couple of days. The forecast called for afternoon thunder showers and I was happy that I had only about 13 1/2 miles to hike to reach Partnership Shelter; hopefully before the storms hit.

Soon after leaving Trimpi Shelter I ran into Sir Richard taking a break on the trail. We walked together and chatted about this and that the rest of the way to Partnership Shelter, arriving there about 12:30 (or, as Richard would say, half noon).

Partnership Shelter is not the usual trail shelter. It is located directly behind the Visitor Center for the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The plumbing for the visitor center has been extended to the shelter, and the shelter features both a shower and a water tap. There is also a phone outside the visitor center from which one can call and have pizza delivered. All this being so, as soon as we arrived Sir Richard and I walked overe to the visitor center and ordered two large pizzas and a 2-liter bottle of soda. We hung around waiting for the pizza to arrive, meanwhile watching the thunder clouds build in the sky. Our pizza arrived and we made it back to the shelter with our lunch just before the lightning started to strike, the thunder boomed, and the skies opened up with torrential rain.

Onjce I polished off my pizza I took a shower and rinsed out my very salty, sweaty T-shirt and socks. It had been my plan to camp there at the shelter, but the area was posted "No Camping" and I don't carry a pad so can't sleep on the hard shelter fllors. That being the case, I hung around the shelter for the afternoon, cooked and ate my dinner, then hiked on aboiut a mile and a third and found a spot down on the lee side of the ridge to hang my hammock. I climbed in and spent a comfortable evening listening to my little radio and reading my book.

Allen Freeman