Cute Husband left me the note above the day before we set out to Dalesville, VA for our first hike of 2010.
Homer and Therese Witcher.
Their daughter, Taylor, shuttled us last year right after completing her second thru hike. The first of which she completed with her brother and parents when she was 11 years old. Homer shuttled us for another hike last year and this year we finally had the pleasure of meeting the driving force behind their 2002 thru hike, Therese.
This was our first real hike since the "Wilson Incident", which is how Warren and I refer to the stroke that I suffered from on May 6th, so we were both rather anxious before heading out. I had visions of taking a header and causing internal bleeding from the blood thinners that I have to take for the next couple of months. Or, perhaps, the left side of my body would just stop working, as it did during the Wilson Incident. Or perhaps, I would no longer have the stamina to complete a couple of miles carrying a pack.
And, poor Cute Adorable Amazing Husband worried that if something were to happen, would his cell phone get through, how would he get me out of woods?
Homer and Therese would have none of that worry. Homer looked me in the eye and said "Lisa, it is going to be fine" and he has a knack for telling who is going to be calling him looking for a ride off the mountain before they complete their hike. With a hug from Therese, we were on our way.
The first day, thanks to Warren's careful planning, was not too challenging and once we reached Mills Gap, I felt my confidence growing as I gained faith in my body once again. Plus, I had the company of this guy!
The weather was clear, but heat was building as we met this uber tame deer.
And enjoyed a buggy lunch on the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Canned corn beef. Something only enjoyed on the trail....
I knew I was back to good.
After chilling for a few hours, Warren got the traveling LoveNest set up in the perfect spot.
We woke to a Whip-poor-will as an alarm clock and tried to get on the trail before the heat set in. Day 2 started with the most challenging climb of the hike. We snacked happy when we reached the top before the temps climbed into the 90s.
As we moved down the mountain we saw the first hikers of the day.... Homer and Therese! They promised that it was not worry that brought them out, but just a need for a walk in the woods. It was such a treat to hike the next 5 miles with them and hear more trail stories.
We hugged goodbye at their car with promises to hike the next section together.
Warren and I hiked the last 3 miles alone in the heat. When we could see the car, Warren turned and congratulated me and I couldn't help but weep.
For the first time since the Wilson Incident I was grateful for my body.
On to Connecticut!