Austin Hikes - Part 6 - Mile 800 and beyond

Austin Hikes - Part 6 - Mile 800 and beyond

Every few weeks we are getting an update from Austin. He is FLYING through the trail. Figuratively of course, he's not actually a pterodactyl (see last weeks post for the inside joke). We send him a care package of coffee whenever his bag is low. He has been able to share the warmth and greatness of fresh coffee with all his friends along the way. What a great luxury to have on such an intense trek!

It looks like the rainy season is coming on strong on the trail! Donate to Austin's gofundme here to help keep him dry! Let's hear what Austin has been up to:

Hey, what's up, hello!

I just passed a new milestone, mile 800! The miles are really starting to fly. (I'll be at the half way point in like TWO weeks!!) I'm currently avoiding rain and catching up on some reading in a shelter just north of Buena Vista, VA.

It's been a pretty chill past couple days for the most part, spending a lot of time floating from town to town and eating my weight in burgers.

Pretty much every other day we pass through either a town or a food joint. Including a campground that appeared to be run by three children? One running the general store while the other two drove giant pickup trucks around the property. No adults in sight, but the little girl made a mean milkshake.

We've also been playing a weird game with the rain storms in the area the past few days. Every single day at ~4pm it POURS for about an hour. And every single day we arrive at camp at ~4:30. So we end up getting soaked, then the thunderstorm retreats to wherever thunderstorms live.

The best was a few days ago we were climbing a hell of a mountain, like I'm talking six miles straight up, when Zeus decided to punish us. The entire climb was hot, sunny, and perfect blue skies until the exact moment we stepped into the field on top of the mountain, that is. Upon looking out at the sick view, we discovered an enormous wall of thunderous black clouds racing towards us at eye level. I've never seen clouds roll at such a high speed. So we decided to do the wisest thing one can do when faced with a force of nature: run. We raced down towards the treeline, feeling the pressure drop and the wind whipping around us, as a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder hit the bald we were just standing on just as it began pouring down rain.

So we ran a teeny bit faster.

Scrambling over slippery rocks and under the Guillotine (an iconic rock formation which we didn't take the time to appreciate) we raced down the mountain, only stopping after a few miles when we reached the dry reprieve of a shelter. 10/10 sick summit.

So onward we go to the next town, Waynesboro, VA. Then we head into Shenandoah National Park, known for its views, ample supply of burger joints, and black bears around every bend. Sounds like a blast to me.

My high since the last update: I've joined up with three new buddies, Umbrella Face, Pheasant Melon, and Stacks. They're three fun dudes who are always willing to quote bad Star Wars lines with me.

My low since the last update: I can't think of a specific one... I did have one day that just tuckered me out. I felt terrible the whole day for some reason. I'll blame the amount of burgers I've been eating.

Until next time,

Happy trails everybody!


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