But then I saw these two hikers doing what is called the Crooked 100 to raise money for Shenandoah National Park Trust. Their plan - to walk all of Shenandoah National Park in three days. 100 miles. That averages 33 miles a day. I applaud their idea. Anything to help raise money (and avoid the broke federal government funding) should get multiple kudos these days.
On Friday, September 9, 2011, I got my hubby to give me a ride to the trailhead at Swift Run Gap. It was still dark out at 6 AM. But I wasted no time. I got out my headlamp and knew I had to make a 3 mile an hour pace for a good chunk of the day if I was to have any chance of getting off the trail before late night. I headed out by headlamp. Immediately my hips started hurting. I ignored it. The daylight came, and I was able to switch off my headlamp. Then had some spurts of rain to dampen the morning until sunshine broke through. I also had to break through the multitude of spider webs trying to bar my way. But I trudged on. I stopped only a few times that day for ten minute breaks. I tried eating, but it was hard. My appetite was fairly quenched. But I made pretty good time, arriving at the Big Meadows campground area by noon. If everything held out, I had a chance to accomplish this feat.
But after the 20 mile mark, my feet started breaking down. I had brought several pairs of socks and changed regularly, but still the blisters came. I started getting general aches and pain and took my Vitamin I to keep things going. By the time I got to Sklyand though I was having major abdominal pain from eating an energy bar. I had to sit down for a time. My feet were killing me. It was going to take everything I had to finish this quest. Make no mistake. Mind over matter to the highest degree.
At Pinnacles Picnic Grounds my hubby was waiting for me with needed nutrition. When I frst sat down a the picnic table and he gave me orange juice and some snacks, I could barely eat, I was so sick. It's hard to describe. But once the juice infused into my system along with the bread and other food, I felt stronger. After 20 minutes I was able to shoulder my daypack and go on. The time was 5:35PM. Even though my feet felt liked chopped meat, I pressed on.
|Blissful completes 34.8 miles in one day|
Yes, there are hikers who have done this much and even more. But for a near 50- year-old woman to sneak out this kind of day was a big deal for me mentally and emotionally. And it showed me that it isn't impossible to set your sights on some impossible goal. Just go for it.