Day 49 and 50 (5/29/19 R and 5/30/19 R)
Miles – 7.6
Total miles – 639.8
We woke to a strong wind blowing through the trees and a few clouds. We did not have far to go to reach town, but we did have one climb before dropping down. It was a well contoured climb and we reached the summit pretty easily. We had a great view to the South, looking down on a peaceful valley of pasturial farmlands. The trail soon came to the end of the mountain and dropped toward town. It was late morning when we came to the road to town. Of course the one mile walk was all up hill. The first thing we came to was a DQ, so we stopped for lunch. We usually like to get cleaned up first, but we were hungry! Dark clouds started to collect as we walked over to the nearest hotel. We settled into a big room and much needed baths were begun. So many rooms we have had lately have been tiny with no room to spread out in. When thru hikers get to town and in a hotel room, they usually have what is termed a “pack explosion.” Try four packs in a tiny room. There is no floor space to maneuver. There is no bed space to sit down. The extra space is much appreciated! This past five days of hiking were not physically difficult however the heat and humidity made it mentally hard. We were worn out, dirty and sweaty like we have never been before. Feet swell in the heat thus our feet hurt. Mama Raven has rashes on her lower back from all the sweat dripping down and the hip belt rubbing causing three inch diameter stinging raw patches. We will be looking for large bandages to cover them up. We got our boxes and worked on sorting our food for the next section. Much needed laundry was completed. There was so much sweat, the shirts could almost stand up on there on because of salt content. In the late afternoon, thunderstorms began. There were a number of them and it rained hard. Our room is upstairs with a porch landing out front to enjoy the valley and mountain views in front of us. Whisper and Bling stood outside for a long time watching the bolts of lightening strikes and counting how long it took to hear the rumbling thunder. Thunderstorms are a pleasant thing to be in when you are in a dry room to enjoy them. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Slearner and Kim, who is now Shortcake, were there among a large group of hikers eating dinner. They came over to our table and talked a bit with us. It is always good to see them!
Pearisberg is a historical town with a Civil War battle taken place here. The North lost to the South. Yesterday, we walked through several local museums. It is not difficult to realize we are in southern territory because a number of homes displayed the Confederate flag. It was interesting to hear Linda, the guide of the museum, talk about the communities attitude of the war. Being a true Southerner, she said the war was never a war of slavery for them. Instead, it was the war between states. She continued to say there were a few wealthy land owners, but most Southerners did not have slaves because they did not have the money. The South simply wanted to keep their independence and to continue making laws for themselves. What a great history lesson for Bling and Whisper! Whisper loves American history, especially anything to do with the Civil War. She asked recently can someone major in American Civil War history in college?