Total Miles: 817.7
Miles This Week: 89.9
Location: Daleville, VA to Campsite
The Good: Another great week! I booked it to the James River footbridge to meet Rainbow and her parents for some amazing trail magic and incredible hospitality at their house. We made a line on the edge of the footbridge and all jumped at the same time. If your friends jumped off a bridge would you? My answer is apparently yes. It’s something I feel like I never would’ve done before I came out here so it was a big deal for me. For a person who’s afraid of everything, there’s a part of me now that’s fearless and it feels wonderful. Climbing the railing was easy. Jumping was easy. Hitting the water was easy. The fall, however, felt like it took entirely way too long. There was a moment of panic where I knew there was nothing I could do but wait. The relief of hitting the water and being in one piece was intense. The moments between submerging and breaking the surface again were some of the best moments of the entire trail. The water craddled me in the most reassuring way possible. I was happy I jumped. Happy I was safe. Happy I survived everything I’ve ever been through. Happy to have caught up with my friends. Just plain happy.
The Bad: I pulled my first tick off me. Rushing to get to the bridge wasn’t ideal but I made a promise I would be there. In our haste, poor decisions were made. I may have gotten heat exhaustion once and had to call it an early day. I pressured Ghost to do a night hike he didn’t really want to do but didn’t tell me he didn’t want to do until we were already doing it. Oh, and we got struck by lightning. Yeah. We did everything we thought we were supposed to do in a thunderstorm: kept off the exposed ridgeline, left an open field, and set up under a decent amount of healthy looking trees. What we couldn’t see in the fog at night was that we were right next to a metal fence post. Our guess is that the lightning hit the post and spread over the ground to us. We were lucky it wasn’t a direct hit but it still didn’t feel good. So, I’m not entirely fearless. My new found fear of lightning is going to take a while to get better. I’ve been flinching every time I hear thunder in the distance even if it’s nowhere near me.
– Cyndi Loppers