Miles from Springer Mountain: 471
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 1721
After two long days I’ve finally entered Virginia and the first town, arguably the most famous trail-town, Damascus. It’s been a long, wet couple days, but they’ve been filled with beautiful views as I finally kiss Tennessee behind!
On the 4th I completed my longest day of hiking on the trail so far – 23.6 miles. I hadn’t intended to hike that far, but the terrain and weather were conducive for heavy mileage. I woke up at the Boots Off Hostel, hiked around the beautiful Lake Wautega, and ended my day at Double Springs Shelter. The only downside to arriving to a shelter at sunset is that all the nightly preparation and eating is done in the dark. I enjoyed a peaceful night of sleep until the wee hours of the morning, then the rain started.
(The stone says lived alone, suffered alone, and died alone)
The rain beat down hard on the metal roof of the shelter waking all of its occupants at 6 in the morning. Thankfully all of us are used to early hiking. It was dreary, looking out from the warm confines of a sleeping bag to the pounding rain and puddling mud. In the back of your mind a voice tells you, it’s time to start walking. I gathered my things and set off.
At about 9:30 this morning I had had enough, in perfect order an abandoned shelter appeared in the distance. I sat and warmed my cold bones for a couple hours, I needed the rest and reprieve from the cold rain. After eating lunch at 11:30 I hiked onward under much more pleasing skies. The miles fell quickly and before I knew it I was crossing the Virginia state line! 3 states down, 11 to go!
I soon reached Damascus, walking the city streets to an awaiting warm abode. I have settled for the night in the Broken Fiddle Hostel! I enjoyed a nice dinner at the Damascus Diner, picked up a pack of local beer, and now will rest my weary feet for the night.
It’s been a long couple days, but I am ready to continue the pace and see what the ever beautiful state of Virginia has to offer.