April 25, 1998

4/25/98 Helveys Mill Shelter

17.1 miles (575.2 total)

The campsite is literally built in the middle of the ridge slope

Got up early because of the town stop in Bland, VA. Was out of camp by 8 AM. Most of the morning was pretty warm. Jenkins Shelter has a painted mural on the privy - someone with too much time on their hands. Had many-many water crossings of Little Wolf Creek. Got my boots wet a lot but only fell on my butt once. Finally gave up and put on my sandals. Veto and I walked together for awhile. She and I have a similar hiking speed. We talked about how hard it
is to keep up with everyone.

Veto filtering water, one of our daily tasks

At Laurel Creek, Samson and Smiley took a swim in the falls below the bridge. It was seven more miles to town, so I kept going. Met Wezzer and Wild Flower, two week section hikers. We both kept a close watch on the controlled burn on the opposite ridge. The sheriff ended up giving us a lift into Dairy Queen - mmmmmm - can you say "blizzard"? Got a fairly quick lift to the store by a man of few words.

Forest fire

But, I’ll remember Bland because of Jim and Louise. He’s a Harley owner. He drove us by his house just to see his "limited edition" Datona. It looked very nice - Louise said he’d better keep it nice after all the money he spent on it. Said they pick hiker’s up all the time - even had a register in their car. Had a steep climb up to the shelter, with the extra food I bought. The whole gang is here tonight; Smiley, Samson, Ghandi, Veto, Longstride, Chunky, Straight Away, Godspeed, & Layers. I really need to enjoy myself more!

Had to re-supply in Bland, VA