Up-date from Appalachian Trail Trek Session 2
Yesterday I was able to connect with the AT Trek Virginia Hante, deep in the beautiful woods of Jefferson National Forest. After a four-mile drive up a gravel forest service road, passing through the luscious deciduous forests of tulip, oak and beech trees, I finally reached the group’s campsite right off of the road. They all came running, thrilled with the thought of resupply of food, fuel and gear. I surprised them with a dozen glazed Dunkin Donuts and mail from home. Their shrieks and words seemed to blend together for one amazing cacophonous moment, it was priceless.
The group reached their resupply destination early, enabling campers to take some nice solo time around the campsite, writing letters, whittling spoons, and just taking time to appreciate their natural environment they have been immersed in.
The group has really come together as one quickly, and each and every camper has been challenged at some point during their journey thus far. As I was talking with them, they were telling me all about the “magic” and epic stories thus far. Whether it be running freely in the lovely grassy meadows of Virginia, snapping their food bag rope, or having a deer follow them around their campsite, they have definitely been living well together in the woods.
They were happy to reach what has been described as the nicest shelter on the entire AT last night, where the group got hot showers, a sink to wash clothes, clean bathroom, and one of the cleanest shelters I have seen on the AT as well. They were baking an apple pie later that evening, in honor of the 4th of July coming up in a few days.
Having now hiked 46 of their intended 100 miles thus far, campers are taking on a much larger role/responsibility within the group. Campers were setting up their own tarps, cooking meals, and filtering water on their own. Despite the rains, the group was in high spirits and ready to continue on their journey.