Thursday 17th May
The shelter was awake early , 3 socks and another hiker were almost packed.
I released the air out of my mat and climbed out of bed, put on my shoes and went to the loo.
Once back I quickly packed up then made tea .
Okay I was ready. I hoisted my pack and set off Damascus here I come.
As I left I passed a camp of university students morning guys i said as i walked
The trail was similar to yesterday, a few big climbs at first then a roller-costa trail
As I pushed on my right toe began to hurt, I blocked it out and pushed on . I was in no hurry as I did the miles yesterday so it should be an easy day. Ping went my watch informing me an hour had passed. It was a glorious day and warm all ready, i would love a breeze please .
I pushed on for another 2 hours the pain in my foot not relenting, and so when I came to an old disused shelter I decided to stop to do foot maintenance.
I taped the toes on my left foot, my right foot was swollen,not a lot I can do about that.
I ate some snacks before putting my socks and shoes back on and set off my shoes are now beginning to fail but hopefully there are new ones waiting for me in Damascus !!
I pushed on passing water, Should i stop i said to myself but still pushed on . After an hour I checked my map., bugger the water at the shelter is far away oh well.
At last I arrived at the shelter, there was another hiker already here.
Where is the water I asked, and is it far ?
Yes it is he replied
I dropped my pack and headed down the path .Water was .2 of a mile and down a steep decent.
But the water was good. I filtered a litre and promptly guzzled it. I then grabbed another 2 litres and began the climb back.
I had just arrived back at the shelter when 3 socks turned up.
Yes it’s far and steep I said .
I ate more snacks and then made tea.
I was just beginning to pack up when Beth and Dan arrived shortly followed by captain Bob.
I stayed for a while then set off although it want long until Beth caught me.
I shadowed her for a while as we chatted but Beth’s too fast for me so let her go.
Dan was next to catch me. and again, I shadowed him for a while as I was staying with them in Damascus.
We shortly caught up with Beth who was resting and waiting.
As Dan & Beth live here they were familiar with this part of the trail as they often run it together.
We are almost their snail trainer , Beth said. and sure enough we were soon dropping down towards the town .
As we got nearer there were little pockets of tents where hikers had claimed their spot .
The trail actually goes through the town and so we were soon in daylight and could see the Festival in front of us.
Dan & Beth stopped by a house which belonged to friends to pick up their keys .
Then we headed towards trail days , Passing through the arch, we posed for photos then wandered through the festival pausing to look at the stalls and to see if there were any bargains to get .
WE walked through and out the other side. At this end was a calaboose and a small train. WE turned right and headed up the main street that was packed with hikers and signs promoting free food hot showers. Beth & Dan lived at the far end of town, as we approached we noticed two figures sat in the doorstep one was whitely and the other tank.
Dan was a little miffed that they were there, as he had only invite close mates to his house
Their house was really lovely , I dropped my pack outside as BETH & Dan introduced me to their lodger a young girl who was into canoeing .
Then beer was opened , Later Big Red and Magic arrived, I had bagged the right sofa and so they had the chair and other couch.
Once we were settled we retreated top the porch to chill and drink more beer , As the afternoon wore on a familiar stream of familiar faces arrived , turning into a great party atmosphere
mileage 16 miles
Remaining 1723 Miles