At Home!

Howdy Folks,
Its been a while since I myself have written an email but not to worry, Dormouse and I are still hiking.  We actually have hiked all the way home!  On the trail, we are technically at Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro, VA if you are keeping track of our progress. In Waynesboro we rented a car and drove to Charlottesville and Richmond.  At home we have spent much of our four days here eating, thanks to both of our families.  I have more than gained all of my weight back and Dormouse has gained 5 lbs (we both lost 10 pounds).
To fill you in: Last stop we were treated like kings by an unbelievable family introduced to us by Dormouse’s father Dave (thanks again, Katherine and Terry!).  They made us feel right at home and were great hosts.  We honestly feel like we could never repay them and could never thank them enough.
Since then we kicked into high gear in order to make it home before Dormouse’s mother heads away for the summer.  We were hiking 12 hours per day and we found that very tiring.  But as a result we have seen many amazing things such as 88 red spotted newt efts in one day coming into Rockfish Gap.  Eighty-eight actually beat our previous record of 51.  We’ve seen many snakes including the common garter snake, green snake, a few rat snakes, and some unknown snake consuming a lizard in the middle of the trail.  We came upon the snake and lizard on a chilly morning and questioned if either one was alive.  Dormouse poked the snake to see if it was alive and it expelled its feast.  The snake wasn’t happy and we felt kind of bad.  We were relieved to find out that our friends had past the same part of the trail later in the day and didn’t notice a trace of lizard remains.
Recently, we have also have gotten into the habit of searching for salamanders.  This hasn’t helped with our forward progress during our rush home, but did make our life less stressed.  We can’t wait to get back out there for this reason.  The diversity of salamanders is much greater in the south than what I’m used to in the north so I’m very excited to see all kinds of new species.  We’ve seen my favorite salamander the mud puppy too!  As sad as it sounds it was like a dream come true, haha.
Dormouse has finally found relief from allergies with the new medicine she is taking.  She has also found relief from her newly discovered asthma due to pollen she has developed this year.  For this we are relieved.
Well we are off to hike through the beautiful Shenandoah National Park and probably loose much of that weight again.  You will probably hear from us again after that in Front Royal, VA.
Happy Trails,

Dirt Stew

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