Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Started at The Priest Shelter
Ended at Reed Gap
Harvey has been complaining about a sore ear and it was not getting better so I decided to get off the trail and end our AT Summer vacation one day sooner. We are just shy of 600 miles, and we really wanted 600, but yesterday Harvey was laughing and heard a pop in his ear and had a hard time sleeping. I really wanted to get his ear looked at, so at the first major road I decided we would try get a ride to town. This is how our day went.
The tradition at The Priest Shelter is to confess in the journal. Many people have a confession that is funny, but some actually put in real things (and some things are just creepy). Sydney put her own confession in the journal and I also got a picture of the confession from Mystery Man.
Once hiking we made good time and came to some great views. Overall today was a bit slower because of the steep and rocky downhill. The last thing I wanted was someone to fall. However, Pete tripped and super-manned down a step, hit the 2nd step on his side and flipped over onto the 3rd step for a spectacular crash. Being 7 he yelled for a hug and then was fine, with only a scratched knee. I packed band aids, but hugs seem to work just as well.
Today we cut the trail for the first time ever (using the Mau-Har Trail). In the name of safety I decided to take the shortcut. It saved us 4 miles and was not that difficult. The hardest part of the Mau-Har trail was not stopping at all the awesome swimming spots along the creek.
We were aiming for Reed Gap because it was next to the Blue Ridge Parkway and had a parking lot. I figured we could hitchhike if needed. A couple offered us a ride but we could not fit our gear and all the gear they had into the car. I had the kids sit next to the road and wait while I talked to the couple, maybe someone would drive by and see them and ask if we needed help.
A Park Ranger drove past and kept going, but then turned around and asked the kids if they needed help! We love the park service. The kids asked for a ride as I quickly walked over to explain the situation (and also ask for a ride). He called to see if a Trail Angel could come get us, but not finding one offered us a ride to town. His son struggles with ear issues so he was sympathetic to our problem.
Mary-j made a car reservation for us at Hertz, but it was for tomorrow. We went to Hertz anyway. He dropped us at the door, what great service. We got the car and went to see a doctor.
After a 3 hour wait we saw the doctor and Harvey does have an ear infection. He has 10 more days of medicine, but we will have access to a fridge so he can have the liquid and not pills. Harvey does not like swallowing the pills.
Next we ate at Ming Garden and then drove to my Aunt and Uncles in Maryland. The kids and I were very sad as we drove north along the highway. Looking to our right we saw the mountains in the distance and knew the AT (and the many friends we made) was up on the ridges and down in the valleys. Pete asked if we could start at Reeds Gap next year and head north. Harvey wants to start at Harpers Ferry in West Virginia, and Sydney thinks we should start at Springer Mtn in Georgia.