Well, since I last wrote that Tyler and I were going hiking in the
Shenandoah things changed. We did drive 7 hours (in pouring rain to and
from) to Polaris' uncle's house on top of a mountain in Virginia.
Polaris' parents were taking very good care of the crew of thru hikers:
All Smiles, Skeeter, Wiffle Ball, Hawk, Blues Clues and Polaris. Food,
drink, beds, laundry and shuttles for slackpacking. Very nice people
from New Jersey.
Since the crew still had 40 miles to hike before reaching Waynesboro,
the consensus was Tyler nor I would be up to the 20 miles each day. The
mountains were steep and there were lots of them. We would have to
match the speed of these seasoned hikers. Bruce would drop them off
around 8am and pick them up around 6pm. We couldn't take a chance on
holding everyone up. Michael was disappointed. I was disappointed.
I'm not so sure Tyler was. lol
Tyler went back to Memphis yesterday. He had a lot of obligations he
needed to take care of at home. I miss him already. We did stop to eat
lunch in Lewisburg, West Virginia, passed a salon on the street and
Tyler had a foot of his hair cut off. It is still longer than mine. It
had not been cut in 2 years. He donates it to Locks of Love. It will
be a lot cooler. Memphis summers are unbearable.
I talked to Michael last night and this morning. He and Hawk were in
Waynesboro. They packed on in to town yesterday. Wiffle Ball went home
for a few days for his cousin's wedding. Branden and the others
slackpacked and spent the night at the house. Bruce was taking them to
Waynesboro this morning to meet up with Michael and Hawk. They all
headed north together today.
Gumpy had returned to Waynesboro to buy a new camera. I was happy to
hear Michael and Hawk met him for breakfast. Dr. Gumpy had to do a
little "surgery" on Hawk's toenail. It was infected under the nail. I
think he was going to remove his toenail. Ouch! These guys are tuff!
They all have aches and pains but they just keep on moving.
Michael was laughing and happy to see Gumpy. Peeper calls them kindred
spirits. I agree. I would love to see the two groups get back together
on the trail, which may happen soon. Gumpy and Peeper are about 30
miles ahead of them but they are taking off a day in Front Royal to
visit his brother. Michael and the guys plan to do 20 miles days
through the Shenandoah. The section to Front Royal, VA is 107 miles.
I need to close by saying this week taught us a lesson. It is nearly
impossible to make a plan to meet Michael on the trail. I may not even
try again. It is too hard to predict his location on a certain day. He
is so far north that the trip really should be made by plane, which has
to be planned. It is unrealistic to think I can hike with him and the
others. They are in their groove and they have to keep on moving. He
said to tell everyone he is sorry if he made plans with you but he won't
be able to fulfill his promises. As you can see, well made plans in
March can't actually happen months later on the AT.
Many of these posts are by Shelia Campbell, Michael's wife <3
Bath County, Kentucky resident, Michael Campbell, is hiking the entire Appalachian Trail to raise funds for the not-for-profit group dedicated to protecting Kentucky’s native forests, Kentucky Heartwood. Michael, a long-time member of Kentucky Heartwood, began his hike on March 22 at Springer Mountain, Georgia. By the first of September, after covering 2,181 miles of trail by foot, Michael will reach Katadhin Mountain in Maine and complete the entire trail.