May 14, 2010 - Day 39 - FridayDestination: Damascus, VA - Trail Days Starting Location: Atkins, VA Today's Miles: 0.00 Trip Miles: 539.10
The first thing I did when I got into Damascus was walk up to tent city where the majority of the hikers were staying. Tent City was laid out differently this year because part of the land was under construction for new baseball/soccer fields. Volunteers for the last three days had been cutting and constructing trails and campsites in the posion ivy infested woods running along a stream. The trails ran a 1/2 of a mile in one direction and a 1/4 of a mile in the other. Premium tent sites were being taken quickly. Several communities were springing up with names like Billville, Miss Janets, Riff Raff, Alcatraz, Trail Talk, Dog Bone Fire to name a few. I decided to head over to the Gear repair site to meet old friends. Granite Gear, big Agnes, Osprey, Mountain Hardwear and others were present repairing for free broken or torn gear brought over by thru hikers. Due to the new configuration, the crowds did not enter through this section to get to tent city this year so the numbers of visitors were down this year. Met up with my friend, Fix It Man and he set me up for the weekend. I decided I wasn't going to do anything but relax, eat and have a few beers.
Friday was a work day for me. I had to square away my gear, resupply and charge batteries and wash clothes. Most importantly I needed to talk to the folks at Granite Gear (GG). I have the GG Vapor Trail backpack and love the way it carries the weight. However, the foam padding on the back absorbs my sweat and gets saturated. This I'm turn makes me hotter and very uncomfortable. The guys at GG listened to my complaints and said they had a solution. They handed me a brand new Escape 60 and told me to load it up and see if the sweat problem is eliminated. I loaded the pack, walked through vendors row, through town and went and did my laundry and returned back to tent city. I liked the feel and the ride and told the folks about it. They said have fun and write about it and tell us what you think. I think I can do that for a new backpack.
Shortly after returning from my chores I hear a voice yell something about a man wearing a nice skirt. People try to get a rise out of me by saying that because I am wearing a kilt. I usually ignore them. Then I hear the voice again, look up and there is Lady Kritter and her friend KTstanding there in front of me. Dumb struck I stood with my mouth open. Coming to my senses I ran over and gave Lady Kritter a big hug and a kiss. What a surprise. I introduced the girls to everyone. Then it was getting dark and Lady Kritter said they were staying in Abingdon would I like to go? A night with my arms wrapped around Lady Kritter, you bet. All I can say was sleeping in a real bed was fantastic and even better were the cuddles.
May 15, 2010 - Day 40 - Saturday: Next morning I was taken back to Tent City with more walking with the girls through the different happenings of Trail Days. The one thing I had to do was be in the parade. Past, present and future hikers walk down main-street of Damascus and have the biggest water ballon and water pistol fight with-the town-people and among the hikers. Even the Trail Days beauty queen got pelted. One sobo went againt the flow of the crowd carrying a sign that said "Sobo". It was getting dark and it was time for the girls to leave. I hated saying good-bye to Lady Kritter and as the car pulled away so did my heart. I spent the rest of the night wandering from one camp to another thinking of Lady Kritter. I finally went to my sleeping bag instead and finally fell asleep.
May 16, 2010 - Day 41 - Sunday morning was a flurry of another round good-byes and a mad dash to find a ride to Kincora for Hardcore.
You can check up on Wayne's almost daily progress at his Trail Journal.