Monday, June 23, 2014
Appalachian Trail - Hampton, TN to Damascus, VA - Day 2 (26.7 miles)
I woke up early this morning to fortunately a lot drier weather than I fell asleep to. I use the birds as an alarm clock as they usually start chirping about 15 minutes or so before the day breaks. Although it was much dryer when I woke up the rains and fog where ever present for most of the day.
I started hiking around 7am and was almost immediately greeted by a feeding deer on the side of the trail. It didn't seem to mind my company much and after checking me out for a minute it continued its grazing. I enjoyed watching it for a few moments and then was on my way.
The day was not very eventful and I spent all morning hiking in a rain cloud where only 20 or so yards in front of me were visible. I was hoping to get some good pictures and videos (especially of the field near the handicap accessible portion of trail), but had to keep the cameras inside my pack to keep from being ruined.
By mile 13 I was feeling pretty tired and had serious doubts that I would make it to my goal of a campsite that was located 4 miles North of Abingdon Shelter. When I finally did arrive at the shelter I immediately took the .2 mile trek down a steep grade to the only water source for several miles. When I got back to the shelter I stripped my soaked shoes and socks off and laid back on my back for about 45 minutes talking myself into getting back up and trudging the final 4 miles.
The 3 Vitamin I (Ibuprofin) that I took at the shelter must have some how energized me. I mistakenly passed the campsite that I was originally going to stay at and found myself at Backbone Rock Trail (5 miles in only 2 hours - I usually only hike around a 2 mph pace). Being only 5:30, having a new found energy and only 4.8 miles into Damascus I decided to push on to Damascus.
I rolled into the middle of town just before 7:30 with visions of hamburgers dancing through my head. If I would have been asked this morning if I could have made it 26+ miles in a day I would have said with 100% certainty "NO". I guess I have to change that to 99% now :)
All in all I had a great time and really enjoyed getting out into the woods for the weekend!!!
Until next time......