Mile 727

Since leaving Damascus we've picked up the pace and trying to get at least 20 mile days in except for town days. I pasted my mileage log at the bottom for numbers people.  We is now me (Diva Dan), Effie (Baby Wipe), and Luna the trail dog (Luner).  The others we were hiking with are a couple days behind but will hopefully catch up. On the plus side as we go faster we get to meet totally new groups of hikers.

So far Virginia is my least favorite state.  Sorry Virginia, but you are hot as hell  (90+ and humid), prone to severe thunderstorms, have many biting insects, and have long stretches with no water, which isn't particularly cold, clean, or flowing when it is available. On the other hand the wild berries are increasingly abundant and the trail magic has been the best yet (certainly most appreciated). And of course there have been some scenic stretches, notably around Grayson Highlands, Mt Rogers and McAfee Knob, and some beautiful meadow hiking. The most scenic stretches of VA are still to come along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah NP.


Mile 469

The stretch between Hot Springs, NC and Damascus, VA was a scenic one, but the wettest hiking yet. After leaving Erwin, TN thunderstorms were frequent so feet were mostly wet. Scott Jurek, the ultra-marathon runner trying to break the fastest AT hike-run past us in Ash Gap during the evening. Unfortunately, I was in my sleeping bag when he came through.

Luna, the trail dog, at White Rock Cliffs.