Friday, June 15, 2012

Loner at Front Royal over 900 miles!

Loner took a zero day in Front Royal, over 900 miles now and has posted nine more videos at this you tube AT page of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Mtns.  Lots of critters in these mountains, deer almost every day, a number of bears, more snakes and his first turtle, bunnies and strange birds.
Town and museum stops in Waynesboro and Front Royal and running across shops and snack bars along the Shenandoahs at Skyland, Mountain View and Elkwallow, where he enjoyed the famous blackberry milkshake and a massive salty pretzel. The Virginia Trail Angels, not to be outdone by those in Georgia, Tennesee and North Carolina picked Loner and BI from Hampton, NH  up and drove them to the Dutch Haus in Montebello for a free lunch topped with their peanut butter chocolate chip pie. The scenery is beautiful, green and peaceful with many overlooks such as Spy Rock and the gorgeous valley below He walked through horse farms and hammocked on hilltops. Jeff crossed lots of cool bridges over over of mountains and thru the hills.
The views are gorgeous and Loner says the walking is easier and can do 20 to 22 mile days here - a big upgrade from 8 on those first newbie days on Spring Mtn.
 There a few AT traditions here such as on Priest Mtn. where at the shelter after Priest, thur-hikers are supposed to write a confessions in the shlter register.  Makes for good reading, I'm sure.  Someone should publish those volumes.  Jeff confessed to his fondness for the famous Virginia blackberry shakes. Further on, Jeff got to see a large collection of Native American artifacts.  Arrowhead hunting is one of his passions and before this trip he went kayaking three or so days a week to hunt local artifacts and has quite a collection. He has a number of videos on this hobby too, which can be viewed at CarolinaArrowheads. 
For the gear gurus out there, one of the video does a review of a beer can  camp stove.  Pretty impressive for such a small thing and a fave with the ultralight hikers. So far it looks like all of his gear has been perfect for him, I'm not counting shoes, because all hikers end up wearing more than one pair, Jeff just took it a bit further than most! He'll probably kill the third pair in Rocksylvania. 
But don't take my word for any of this.  It's more fun to watch the videos!


  1. Hi Gael!
    Loner is doing Great, hiking those miles away I enjoyed watching his last set of videos. They are fun to watch as a lot of places are familiar with Rayo having been there
    Ray called today from MA. He gave us some upsetting news
    He got a call from another thru-hiker further north in New Hampshire
    Called to tell Rayo that a fellow hiker up there in NH drowned
    Friday evening at Pierce Pond. All we know is he is 20 years old and had hiked 20 that day, went for a swim and went under and was not able to be rescued. Very sad
    We are fortunate that our sons are older, I think their maturity helps tremendously in them not pushing to hard, listening to their bodies and taking things in stride.
    Rayo has 4 states to go, time is flying by. Probably not for him Im sure!
    Take care....

  2. Patti:

    I saw this new on White Blaze. So tragic! He man not have been aware of how cold the waters in Maine can be. When I lived in Mass. We know to take our time to get into the ocean even in the middle of July because the water was only 50 degrees. We'd get wet inch by inch until we went numb then went for a swim. The poor boy may not have known and jumped in overheated from his hike and it was too much of a shock. I hate to event think about what his family is going through.
    Rayo has really been making the miles! Already in Mass. He's an interesting writer and I enjoy his blogposts and his photos and always the ones of him smiling. You can tell he's having fun, despite the discomforts. He doesn't have far to go!

  3. Did you see they are trying to get 2000 mile status for Parkside, young man who died because even though he did not complete entire trail he did complete 2000 miles.

  4. Yes, Patty I did see that on White Blaze. I sure hope they do it - it was so close and it would mean a lot to his family.

  5. His mom posted her eulogy on her blog
    His fellow hikers will be taking some of his ashes to
    Katadin so he can finish the trail.

  6. Patti:

    Thanks for letting me know, Patti. I haven't read the blog lately - I do in bits and pieces but its so sad. What a brave woman and I'm so glad she's taking his ashes to Katadhin. It's where he should be!