Today’s mileage: 19.3
Total mileage: 410.5
Another day, another milestone. We hit the 400 mile marker this afternoon during our first full day of hiking in Tennessee. Before we know it, we’ll be one-quarter of the way done with the AT. At about the 546 mile marker, that puts us just north of Atkins, Virginia. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Our focus right now is getting to Damascus, Virginia and it’s safe to say we’re pretty excited to reach the TN/VA border and soon thereafter, Damascus.
As we were packing up our tent this morning, it began to rain. We quickly threw on our rain gear and packed up our stuff so it wouldn’t get wet. We said goodbye to Teflon this morning as he and Mouse headed into town. It’s cool how in just a month you can make life-long friends out here. While Mouse will still be out here with us, we’re hoping to go out and visit them in Colorado soon.
We started walking into Elk Park, NC this morning to resupply and we got lucky as one of our friends, Fredbear and his dad drove by and stopped to give us a ride to the market down the road. It was still raining at this point, so we were relieved to get a ride. They even waited for us as we bought our food and gave us a ride back to the trail. And with that, we said goodbye for good to North Carolina. Well, at least for now.
I went into today thinking it would be an easy hike. I sure was wrong. While the terrain wasn’t too difficult, the combination of being wet, sweaty, several ups and downs on the trail, and really the fact that we’re ready to get to Damascus, made our hike a bit tougher than we expected. We made it though, sore feet and all. We are so ready for new shoes by the way. Mine are worn out on the inside and Miles’ shoes are wearing out on the outside. And we’re both looking for a more comfortable shoe.
The rain stopped in the mid-afternoon, which allowed us to dry ourselves out a bit. We crossed a lot of small streams, walked through misty meadows, and hiked below Mountaineer Falls. No photos today unfortunately because of the rain. The coolest part of today was seeing the Roan Highlands, which we hiked yesterday, from across the valley. It was satisfying to look back on the beautiful range and say, “we hiked that.” It made me realize how much I enjoyed our hike yesterday and that the Roan Highlands will definitely be one of our favorite sections of the trail.
We’re making good time, despite our later starts in the morning. Apparently we’re truckin’ along at a good pace, because a lot of people have mentioned that fact to us. We’re tired at the end of the day and I take that as a good sign that we put in a full day of work.