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Dirk's Rambles

Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 4:40 pm

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I came off the trail last evening, lame with a reoccurrence of a shin splint injury that I developed on May 18th after a brutal day on the trail hiking the Dragon's Tooth area. Actually, it was three very challenging days in a row, with climbs and a rocky trail to contend with. Coming down the mountain from Dragon's Tooth we had to climb down several walls that were nearly straight down. We threw our trekking poles down the walls so we could us both our hands to climb down. Challenging and hairy!

We walked into Dalesville. I bought a new pair of Hoka Speed Goat 4 trail shoes to contend with my shin splints. My old trail shoes had 700 miles on them, which was probably 200 miles too many. They were great shoes (Salomon Ultras) but the Hoka's came highly recommended by both Calves and the guy at the store. I was very resistant to buying them because of seeing and hearing of hikers say Hoka's fell apart very quickly. Calves thought was that if these shoes get me thru my shin splints, they are worth the short term risk.

So I will test my shins tomorrow with a slack pack of 11 miles. A slack pack is a trek with only your lunch, water, first aid kit, and little else. You are dropped off at one point and picked up at the end of your walk. You sometimes take a slack pack south, sometimes hike north. It makes no difference since you are being picked up.

From May 7 thru May 19, thirteen days in a row, we hiked 194 miles. However, what most likely caused my shin splints were my worn out shoes.

Came across several Trail Magics over course of this time. One along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with scrambled eggs and sausage. The other was near Jennings Creek, with drinks, chips and snacks. Met Christian Hackenberg's uncle there. Christian Hackenberg was the starting quarterback for Penn State several years ago and was drafted into the NFL in the second round. I had met his uncle in a parking lot in Dalesville several days ago.

Calves continues on yesterday. He will be a day or two ahead of me.

Theresa is picking me and Calves up on Friday May 28th for a zero with Bill and Sally Wells. Bill is a fraternity brother from Penn State and a good friend. He offered to get a condo for us at Wintergreen Resort for May 28-May 30. Very generous! we hope to visit the Devil's Backbone Brewery. I had applied for the Chief Hiking Officer's job there last fall but did not get the job. So I want to snoop around to see what their new hire for that job is up to. Also my cousin Barbara MacDonald is driving to meet us for breakfast with her son Townes on Saturday, May 29th. It will be great to see everyone.
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