Day 319 - 2/2 – Walker, WV - Brittani and I stayed with Bob and Crystle Buchanan and found ourselves waking up to 8” of snow on 2/3. Bob decided there was no way he was getting out to go to work, so we decided we would heed the local fear of the roads and stay in. I had started feeling a little sick last night and was glad to have the opportunity to rest more.
Day 321 - 2/4 – We decided we had to head out and tried our luck with the most direct route back to Walker where I had left off on 2/2. Unfortunately, while trying to ascend a long hill around a long bend, we started to lose control of the vehicle and nearly got ourselves stuck. We slid backwards down the slope for about 10 feet before stopping nearly perpendicular to the road. We had turned so much on our backward bobsled that it only took a quick turn of the wheel to get us headed back down the hill in the direction we had come. We went the long way out and finally made it back to the post office where I began my trek again.
I walked the North Bend Rail Trail and walked through a few more treacherous tunnels and slowly made my way through layers of melting snow. We connected with Paul and Sharon Weekley in West Union, WV and stayed with them on 4/4 and 4/5. Paul and Sharon are the coordinators for the American Discovery Trail in West Virginia.
Day 323 - 2/6 – I hiked about 8.5 miles today before Brittani and I headed north to Morgantown, WV to speak with the Adventure WV program at West Virginia University. I reconnected with a friend from the Appalachian Trail named Brendan Powell. I had met up with his brother Garrett in Denver Colorado several months back and it was a cool experience to see him again after 2 years.
Day 324 - 2/7 – Brittani and I took a work day at a Chick-fil-a and responded to e-mails, wrote in journals, made phone calls and tried to pay bills. Before long, we realized that we had been sitting in the restaurant almost all day and decided to go to another location and eat at Bob Evans’. In retrospect, it feels like we were just eating food all day… Eh, some days you make miles, some days you eat them. We made our way closer to Salem and pulled over into a nice, private, secluded little location in the parking lot of a Rest Stop on Interstate 79. We camped in the Xterra and made all of the long distance truckers jealous of our luxurious accommodations.
Day 325 - 2/8 – I hiked nearly 21 miles today and started listening to a new audio book on the history of the FBI titled: Enemies - A History Of The FBI by Tim Weiner. Audio books have been a great source of entertainment and education on some of the more uneventful days on this journey. I met up with Brittani and we decided to take advantage of the plentiful food resources in Clarkesburg, WV and ate at a fantastic Chinese buffet called Grand Buffet. With no plan for where we intended to sleep, we searched aerial images of Google Earth on our phones and drove a short distance to a small parking lot near a restaurant and made our standard Xterra camp.
Day 326 - 2/9 – Since today was Sunday morning, we decided to attend Lifepointe Church in Clarkesburg, WV. It reminded me of my friends at MyChurch in Columbus, GA and made me miss playing drums even more! After church, I set out into the snow and hiked a brief rail trail and ended my day walking several roads into Bridgeport, WV. I only travelled about 12 miles before Brittani picked me up around 5:45pm. We decided to attend an evening service at Bridgeport Church of Christ where we met Lafe and Lorna Hutcheson! They offered their home to us and we joined them and the kids (pictured with the neighbors below) for some pizza and finally a shower!
Until next time,