The backpack trip was a success even though it seemed touch and go for awhile. Shauni's blisters were a problem, but she pushed on through and we got to the end without a need for any kind of alteration or, gods forbid a rescue.
As always, I learned a few more things about multi-day hiking and hopefully I will remember them and put them to use. First of all, tie your bandana in a loose knot on the pack strap. I never even noticed that it was gone until we were taking a break and I reached to use it. Also, it never hurts to carry at least two.
Also, I learned from August that weight is what you make of it. If you want to carry something and can, than do. I decided to stop sweating the small stuff. I usually overpack anyway, but now I have some validation to my theory. I can usually handle between 30 and 40 pounds without too many problems, so I won't sweat it when I'm up in that zone. Of course, cutting weight still would allow me to make everything easier, but I won't debate about some gear choice as much as I think I have to from now on.
So now it is time to start thinking about what is next. When I was reading Stat's updates, he mentioned doing an Aqua Blaze and a new plan was hatched. I'm thinking about hiking south from Front Royal to Rt 211 and then riding a canoe back north to Front Royal on the Shenandoah River south fork. It is very doable and I have started to make the calculations. It would be nice to get a few people to come along, but the idea is there and I continuously refine it as I find out more information.
I also have a few other options like another 40 to 50 miles up in PA or to continue south from my southern most point at Snickers Gap to Front Royal, finishing the Roller Coaster. The options are still many for now, since I have only completed 4.7% of the trail.
Since I have been steadily sliding into fat mode, I decided it was time to get back into a slimmer shape. I can hike all day, but I would rather do it at a lower weight. Lisa, Shauni and I have started the P90X program. We are one week in and feeling the good soreness that comes with a new workout routine. Hopefully we will continue for the whole program, but I will go as far as I can as long as it stays fun and I keep getting results.