Just more miles

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It’s been a nice couple of days.
Leaving the grocery, I headed out for 15 miles on a sunny day. At my lunch stop, Tortoise and Garmin caught up to me and we eventually got to the Woods Hole hostel, a great place with nice facilities and good food. It was a nice surprise to see Forward there, win we last saw in Damascus. Not long after we got there, we pulled into cars and headed to the Korean restaurant for a great and highly food intensive meal.

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They do a great breakfast every morning and we enjoyed that before heading out.
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This is Irish. He had done all the big trails and he is doing his second AT hike…and I can’t really keep up with him.
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Then it was another nice day, an easy 11 into Perisberg. After lunch and resupply, I decided to stay the night instead of pressing on because I had to mail things away and the post office was closed. We have 80 miles until the next town and that’s too far to carry unneeded things.
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Saturday: Post office didn’t open until 10 so it was a late start, but another nice day.

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This is Syd the Kid. First met her in the Smokies and have run into her many many times in improbable places. She is a good spirit. Had two good hills in the 8 miles we did today. Hot and sunny so it was a sweaty day, one of many to come.
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Got to the first shelter at 2 something. It was 12 to the next shelter where T&G were headed. But with no water in between, it would have been a long haul, getting in at dark. So me and Mr. President headed to water and campground a further 1.5 and called it a day.
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Tacos!!
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Sunday was a long day. I was out the door at 7:10 and cranked out the 10 miles to the first shelter and the first water. After good and ready there, it was only 4 and change to the next one, but it was at the top of a good steep hill. Lots of sweating today.
By then it was almost 3 and I pressed on another 5 to a campground.
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This was more hill and lots of very tedious rocks. I didn’t have the mojo (nor the water) to make it a twenty mile day. Grrr.
Monday was not much better. Second day of good heat but no wind at all. Started strong as usual from Wind Rock campground, but the day was tough. By afternoon I had a good hill and some ridge running to do before I got to the shelter.
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See the gap in the trees across the way? I get to the top of that ridge one mile to the right and then have to go to the shelter that is one mile to the left of that gap, and then down a steep half mile.
With no wind, the ascent was steep and long. I was tired and hungry and hot and it was super tedious. I had to lay down on a rock for a while to rest my legs and cool down. I was wiped out at the top and trudged the 2+ miles to the shelter, arriving around 7, for almost a 12 hour, 17 mile day. I should mention, of course, that I am taking longer lunch/nap breaks now. This day was almost two hours, but that wasn’t enough I guess.
Ate a brownie and drank some water and passed out before sundown.
Tuesday broke with some darkish clouds, but only a drop or two before the sun took over for the day. I had more of a leisurely morning than usual and was on the trail just after 8.
Since we were already up on the ridge, we started with some tedious ridge running, but with great views of the valley.

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For the photo: Today’s mission: Run the ridge I am on, cross that valley and then run that ridge off the left edge of the photo. Got to the first shelter after 6.6 , and did lunch/nap for an hour. Then ash the road crossing 45 minutes later, ran into trail magic! A nice couple, former through hikers themselves, had a big canopy set up. They cooked me up some hot dogs, had a banana and a couple of cold Gatorades!! They even had a portable charging station. And now I could test the afternoon good theory on a really full stomach.
The 10 miles in the afternoon went well. The big hill came early in the afternoon, so that helped. I cruised up it pretty well, certainly better than yesterday. Also, thankfully, we had a great breeze all day that kept the sweating and heading way down. The ridge was nice too: wide, grassy and a gentle decent. Then the long usual descent to the road and up to the shelter, done around 6pm. This 80 stretch this week is our longest without resupply to date. Should be in Dalesville in two days, after a quick burger run at a place just off the trail, 13 miles up. Clothes are stinky. Converted a long sleeve to a short sleeve today and my legs look like insect feeding stations. But on the bright side, I am shrinking so much, I only have a couple more inches before my pack hip belt won’t cinch tightly.
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1 comment

  1. “Thankfully, my beard captive/host has continued to move North, towards cooler climates. His pace is increasing. Recently, he migrated 19 Measured International Length Evaluation Symbols (M.I.L.E.S.) during a single revolution cycle. I have indeed picked a fine host for transporting me to the annual beard congregation in Maine. Additionally, he spills food upon me to nourish me, and I am becoming larger and stronger.” -Beard

    Keep up the great trip Don. Love reading this as soon as it come out.