Week 8: Mother’s Day and The Ponypocalypse

Total Miles: 542.7

Miles This Week: 83.8

Location: Abingdon Gap Shelter to Atkins, VA

The Good: I said goodbye to Tennessee and hello to Virginia. I ate good food and went swimming more than once. I passed the 500-mile mark by myself and found myself in the Grayson Highlands. I needed to be as alone as you can get out here and I got what I asked for. I made decisions and learned what I needed to learn about myself. I left some friends in Damascus but I also gained new ones. Plus, ponies! This week was full of flowers and I’ve got all this free time so I’m starting to learn the names of things instead of just making up my own.

The Bad: Mother’s Day was rough. I won’t lie. I cried a little. I’ve had cell reception for two weeks straight and then absolutely nothing on the one day I needed it. I didn’t get to talk to my son and it crushed me. The only thing, other than ponies, that got me through it was knowing that I would be seeing him when I go home for the weekend during Trail Days. I’m a little bummed out about not getting to go to this thru-hiker right of passage, but I know it’s the better choice for me, even if there aren’t any ponies at home. Speaking of ponies. Ponies are awesome! Unless one has a giant boner, chases one of you up a tree, and briefly considers your tent to be it’s next conquest. I thought it was like GSMNP where there’s “no tenting” but really you can tent next to the shelter. Nope. You really shouldn’t tent in Grayson Highlands. Now we know.

– Cyndi Loppers

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