Week 7- Hiking with Dad – The TrekApril 16, 2022
I got to sit around the motel in Marion lazily for the morning, knowing that my dad wasn’t going to arrive until after noon. Eventually I had to walk across town to the library because of the motel’s 11 am checkout, but that walk ate up more time so I only had to wait another little while until my dad arrived. We got lunch in town and watched slightly nervously as snow flurries swirled outside the restaurant windows. After lunch I tried to stuff the giant 6 day resupply he’d brought me into my pack. At first I couldn’t get it to fit in my pack, but after reorganizing and really mashing it down it all fit. We drove back to the partnership shelter/Mt. Rogers Rec Area headquarters and set off. We had a few steep climbs to get over, and my pack weighed more than it has so far during the trip, so the climbs felt slow and wore out my feet and legs quickly. The weather kept changing on us, with about 30 minutes to an hour of sunshine before switching to snow and windy conditions for 30 minutes and back again.
The only consistent part of the weather was the cold temperatures, which didn’t go above the mid 40’s all day, but with the steep climbs my dad and I quickly got sweaty and then a little chilled as we hiked on. Thankfully after the first climbs we had a long descent to Atkins where we were planning to grab a motel room to avoid sleeping in the subfreezing temperatures that were coming up overnight. The descent was pretty nice, taking us past historic farmhouses and a one room school house situated in a large pasture, before going over a nice boardwalk over a marshy area.
We made it to the motel just before 7 pm and even though the motel was pretty grimy, the warm beds and shower was enough to make us stay. I insisted we grab dinner from the (trail) famous Burrito Loco Mexican restaurant, which …….