Day 45

Thurs 25

woke up early the two boys were also awake.

I visited the loo then packed up .

once packed I was on my way.

I had 10 miles easy right !.

I hoisted up my pack and set off the trail was good and do as I marched I ate an apple that I had carried out

.

I felt good so was almost.ost speeding down the trail . .

I was in forest sonitvwas nice and cool as I pushed the miles.

eventually o came to a large bridge with a sign box .

I stopped signed my name then crossed over the wide bridge. once over I began the customary climb. I climbed for about an hour before the trail leveled out I was now cruising until I saw a familiar figure.

It was Pig Pen

wow great to catch you .as I have been chasing you

You took your time snail she said nut we k ew you were close.

Amy or Zippy is in front she ssys . Pig Pem is still.packimg

so I say goodbyes and head off to chase Zippy down.

the trail is typically ‘PUDD” Pointless ups and downs but it’s rock that kills my feet specially my right foot.

I push on for several hours unroll my foot yells SYOP

My foot is killing me do I have to stop and I remove my shoes and state at my foot I take 4 ibpropen and put my shoe back on as Pug pen comes by.

She looks at my foot .days that’s looks painfully and moves on .

after 5 mins break I set off After. her. .I seem.to have extra power as I race long thevtrsil and eventually emerge at a ish shelter. I walk towards the road and past the visitor centre.

Hey guy going to town a voice says

Yes please .and I board a yellow bus .

on board is Bob, Pig Pen, Zippy and 3 other hikers .

soon we are on route to marion we pass all the trout hstcherirs I lernt. about.

we drop.off the other Hikers then we go to the hotel.

I split a room with Bob and it’s expensive and very posh but lovely.

once in our rooms I jump straight into the. shower.

I select my less smelly clothes and we go for lunch

I have a side salad them an amazing beer sandwich washed down with 2 sprites .

after Bob and I grab a 6 pack each and go back to the hotel.

we sit on the balxancy and drink our beer.

later zippy s girlfriend and put pens mum arrives so we head out for dinner and more ale .

so many beers later it’s bedtime

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Day 44

Wed 23rd MAY

My alarm went off at 5.30 I reached up and switched it off.

It was still lightly raining outside . but I was snug and warm inside.

At 6.30 I got up had s long wee , then retrieved my food bag. I was going to pack and go but then I had water boiling for tea.

so packed up while it was brewing.

I was ready and on the trail by 7 come on Snail let’s hike . I set off repeating most of yesterday sloshing through mud and water . I must admit to never crossing so much water in all my life . it seemed endless water water every where .

The morning was sunny and warm as I made my way along the trail.trying to avoid the water and deep mud.

and if it wasn’t those two it was crappy rock. I then began to climb and as I did the sun began to vanish into mist. I emerged onto a long open common. I’m sure the views would be amazing on a summer’s DAY but I must had swirling mist . I pushed on quite enjoying the change of scenery. the common stretched out for several miles then began to drop down. In the distance I could see more cows.

and another trailhead and a privy.

I walked over to the privy and opened the door. Yes yes a bin whoop. I emptied my trash a d then used the loo.

I crossed over the trail head trying to avoid the deep mud as I wanted to keep my shoes dry for as long as possible. since again I was in the woods trying to avoid the stellong in the deep streams of water or falling over the slippery roots .

arrrh bloody trail. eventually it got better and I gained more speed as my confidence grew and the pain in my foot numbed. I pushed on a d on until I found the sign pointing to the shelter .

I walked over expecting to find it empty .but there was a lone hiker called f-word who had hurt his foot so was resting.

Where’s the water I asked. down there he cried in his thick southern Accent.

I went and got water that was icy cold .I filtered 2 litres into my bladder then a third that I drank straight down.

F-word said that there maybe trail magic at the next road .

So off I went. I pushed and pushed and several hours later I arrived st a sign saying magic. I walked in and found several hikers sat around fire and two large tarps set up.

The main guy said drop your pack and get something cold. or coffee. I grabbed a coms a d a Banana and sat by the fire. I quickly necked the coke a d so was passed another. but I different to stay too long.

I signed the book and was about to leave when I had more fruit put into my pack.

They then told me about a picnic up the trail with free shuttle.

I thanked them and left. Then crossed the road and began to climb. it would be like this for about an hour. up and up the temperatures rising. then at last the trail began to flatten

I began to speed up until I came across some weekend hikers. there is cell service here they said.

So I stopped took out my phone and switch airplane off. imeaditly it began to buzz and ping

Your correct I said. taking off my pack and reading my phone .

I sat for about 20 minutes messaging my children and friends. before I had to drag myself away .

I gave chase to the hikers and soon caught them. and past them

I began to hike faster and was whizzing fown the trail. maybe it’s s banana thing ! omg I was flying I pushed on passing by the second shelter. but as it was off trail I did not visit it.

It was now 1 and I should take a break so at the next spot I did . I put down my pack. laid out the Tyvek and rested..took of my shoes and aired my feet .

I ate snacks saving the second banana to the end. yummy.

I took 40 minutes before I was ready to hike although the next shelter was only 7 miles away.

Refreshed I pushed on and headed towards the next set of falls. you can hear them miles before you get there.

I slowly began to spiral down. unroll yes I can see them.

I walked close wow they looked fantastic. then I topped up my water and I was gone.

As I hiked i could hear traffic for many miles . eventually I came out into sunlight d could see another trail head and see people resting. I thought I’d go look see if I could loose some more trash. As I walked over two people by a car asked if I o9uld like a cold drink.or beer.

A beer would be great please. I was handed one which I promptly guzzeled so they handed me another. thank you such I said . Sipping this one more slowly.

Here was also the place to get a ride to the picnic.

I did think about it but decided to hike on so left .

Typically the trail climbed steeply omg it was steep and now hot. after 2 hours I was at the top so switched on my phone . imeaditly it began to buzz and ping again.

I sat for ten minutes before pushing on .

I arrived at the next shelter at 5.30. I ummed and arred for several minutes then decided to stay.

The shelter was completely empty . weird .

oh well i exploded my pack .

Then went and got water. once back I began to cook.

Later 2 other hikers arrived we ate tea together before chilling

My day is done

Day 43 500 miles

Tues 22nd May

I woke around 5.30 and dozed at 6idh I woke let down my mat and went to the loo. on my way back I collected my food bag. I grabbed my pack and took it outside the shelter, then went back for my mat and sleeping bag. once outside I stuffed my bag into its stuff sack then rolled up my mat.once done assembled myvdtove and put on waterto boil for tea and breakfast.

I continued to pack as I sipped my tea. then I was ready I slung my pack onto my back and headed out at most 7. 30

I knew it was going to be a day of climbing but climb I must .the trail started out nice . a lovely tread just how I like it but then it beg m to climb nd the trail became knarly and rocky. my poorly foot didn’t like this as every knock sent painwaves up my leg with the odd swear word. But I continued on then I came to a field of cows I was busy trying to photograph one that I did not hear the hiker approaching me a d almost jumped out of my skin.

Sorry Snail didn’t mean to scare you!!

I left the cows and continued climbing. after about an hour I was almost at the top with amazing views . Another hiker said this is why we climb mountains.

What great words I thought.

I continued climbing unroll I met all the girls who were at the shelter when I arrived but who hiked on.

They had camped on top of the mountain.

We’re you not cold I asked?

Bloody freezing came the reply.

I laughed and carried on

The trail snaked down then around before heading down.

As I walked I noticed a sign for water I stopped Nd took my water bogglrs with me it looked good so I fizzled a litre with out filtering

Then topped up my bottles before moving on. was we crossed the road there were some bags of crisps and home made cakes (Trail magic)

I grabbed a muffin and bag of crisps. thanks you x.

The trail today was horrid .or rather horrid for me it was rock or roots of pushing through sludgy water whilst cli.ning rock. funny when it’s raining I would normally plough straight through.

Today seemed just hard work a d my foot being so fragile and tender was not helping.

The hours ticked by I should be at the shelter by now ?

At last the trail headed down and shofybi was in the car park.

a toast was there. there was a toilet here an exciting thing when you are hiking lol.

I decided to have a break and have lunch. I had almost finished when it began to rain

I put my food away out on my socks cover then visited the loo. by the loo I noticed a bin so quickly returned to my pack and got my trash

then it was time to walk I was. is heading to mount Robert’s . which was the mountain I thought that i had climbed earlier. again it was more rock more slushy mud and I think I crossed about 50 streams.

There was water , water every where and I was still climbing.

I stopped an

checked my map the shelter was at miles away . I must admit to becoming a bit angry with myself nd my foot and the terrain. as I had left early and still has miles to go.

Then I noticed horses these are wild in Virginia. then a deer bounced out in front of me scarring me to death a d I sloped and fell into the boggy stream . dazed a d sho ked I picked myself up .luckily now damage. and walked o . sat on a rock I. fro t as toast surrounded by ponies and several very young foals. it waz lovey to see.

I moved on and eventually arrived at the shelter. it was o lyvwhen k began to look at my maps that i realized that this shelter was much further away than normal. in fact this one was almost twice the distance away .so that’s why I hadn’t reached it by 11.30 Doh Stupid Snail. I took off my shoes and had a proper break . ate some more snacks .

This was the shelter with the Bear issue. a bear had before rather clever and was managing to steal peoples food bags . he had broken off 8″ tree limbs yo steal the food and so the rangers had, had to install bear boxes (Big tool chests) for people to put their food into.

I studied my maps the next shelter was 6 more miles away ….. Yes I can do that so set off. passing several of the new bear boxes.

As I dropped down into the next meadow I could see more horses and longhorn cows

As I walked through the gate I noticed a very new foal lying in the grass oh bless.

But I needed to push on . again out of the meadow and back to rock and some crazy climbing unroll I came to

500 miles whoop whoop just under 1/4 walked I felt so good and began to.push on with a great smile on my face

I I dropped down I came to a stretch of tea that the trail guys have been working on Thank You so much . rocks had been flattened . steps installed the trail bed graded and filled with varying sizes of stone it was amazing and no easy feat.

So thank you so so every much as it was s joy to walk down . Toast had once again caught me up . well she’s younger and fitter. we chatted as we counted fown the miles to the next shelter. she asked me question on the PCT. the shelters the water a d I gladly answered. we were chatting so much the miles flew and soon we had arrived. it was all very near and tidy 2 privys but there was only room for one and no camping aroundcthe shelter….. Weird. I let toast have my spot and I decided to hike on . I had just left when booom went the thunder. oh dear I thought need to find somewhere quick.

I stopped by river and filled up my bottles. then headed out I eked for about 2 miles before spotting a place.

I dropped my pack and my tent was soon up and tea was on

7pm and my day is done.

mile 504.5. miles hiked 18.5

Day 42 leaving Domascus

21st May 18 Monday.

I woke early and dozed. getting up at 7.30 to go get coffee.

I returned to my dorm and packed up. once packed I took my pack down and put it in the lobby. I then put the rest of my change into the cash box .

Okay chores I set off to the post office I posted a box of miscellaneous stuff to friend Tartan and then sent some maps home so my kids can track me if they want. job done , I headed to the pharmacy and presented my prescription. They then said if had rang the number they would of opened up for me !!! Arrhhh.

They handed me a orange container with my previous tablets in . I whooped under my breath as I made .y way back to the hostel. grabbed my pack and hoisted it onto my back.

I set off along the creeper tail which is an old train route that has been turned into a cycle route . it used to be the AT once but the At now follows a new route that joins up with this in 8 miles time. But this trail is a low gradient. I hiked this to give my foot chance to recover.

This trail took me through some great parts of town. parts I should have explored at the weekend. I hiked on

I then i recognised 2 people walking towards me .. it was Whitety and Carmen

Hi guys where are you going ?

Whitety said that he had left his phone at Dan and Beth’s so that’s where he was going Carmen was headi g to the P.O..

See you up the trail guys as I know Whitety is fast.

I hiked on until I came to a car park with toilet and bins.. I was just about to leave when a man came running over. I have trail magic . I waited and he appeared with fruit Gatorade and beer. I woofed a beer then a big green truck appeared and two men appeared to be fishing from it.

a what they were actually doing was restocking the river with brown trout. They breed them up in Marion and then release them all along the river. I was fascinated and they were both chatty.

Time to walk. it was now getting hot. But in the distance I could hear the rumble of thunder. mmm will I get wet.

It began to drizzle so I stopped and put my rain cover over my pack and then Bang and crash and it began to chuck it down .

I am used to the rain so pushed on . a group of hikers past me by so I began to pace them . But as the rain got heavier they detoured maybe to a cafe.

I pushed on and on the trail now began to get very wet and covered in roots my foot began to hurt again bugger bugger . I stopped and checked my map.

Not far to the shelter , good I think that will do me

I pushed on .. tents I can see tents. whoop and there is the shelter and there was Speedy.

Hi speedy I said

The shelter was full but most were moving on or camping so I put out my bed and then made tea .

I then went to get water , as I went it was then that I missed my plastic cup. But hey I’ve made the choice.

I returned and began to cook my tea . as I cooked more people arrived and others left. some of the guys made a fire and it was a fairly good atmosphere.

But I was done.

Day 39 zero in Damascus

friday 18th May

I slept so well on the sofa waking at 8.30 and dozing.

Tank was in the armchair and whitety was on the other sofa

Beth was Making coffee so I grabbed a coffee.

Then dan began to make breakfast scrambled egg hash and bacon . So tasty.

Once I had eaten I wandered down to the post office.

no sign of my bounce box sadly but new shoes whoop and my other box which I then bounced to my friend in Texas.

I walked back to The house and tried to find the post office number. Beth lent me her phone to try and contact them .

But after being on hold for ages I gave up I will retry tomorrow.

every one else had walked down to the festival. I continued to edit some video then went to the festival too.

I entered several competitions

looked at the kit. tents .hammocks. some envy. But I couldn’t see osprey packs

I kept meeting my hiker family which was great . by now I was hungry so went and grabbed lunch and a soft drink as. Open Alcohol is banned from the town

whilst I ate lunch I listened to several bands that were playing.. As I sat there a hiker I met several days ago joined me and then so did Dan.

The other hiker was saying that osprey and big Agnes a d several other venders were set up there.

I made my way back to the house and found my pack and began to empty evrry thing out

I was going to walk to tent city when Beth offered to drive me.

I wandered through the vender part and found Osprey.

I haggled on a pack for a while and got a 20% discount on a pack but in town. Then I got my Hip belt repaired. I then managed to get a ride back to town but unfortunately the store. didn’t have either of the bag a that I wanted .

But hey I have a new hip belt.

I wandered back to the house a d was eased to see big Red had arrived.

I gave him big hug then put my now dry tent away

and joined the guys on the porch for a beer

as we are going Magic and tent less arrive and it’s like a party .

We spent the whole evening there untill the Pizza arrived followed by more beers. But Omg it’s midnight

Day 37 heading to Damascus slowly

I woke to pouring rain and decided to use the bathroom first.

Then I packed as much kit into my pack as I could before trying to take my tent down from within.

It took a while as every thing was soaked but soon I was packed I wandered up to the hostel . Dan & Beth were having breakfast .I poured myself a coffee grabbed a banana and several nectarines and enjoyed the moment. I grabbed another coffee then filled my water bladder and I was ready but fancied I more lemonade so brought a tin which I quickly drained.

Some hikers were slackpacking this is where they are dropped up the trail with out their pack then hike back.

I personally think this is cheating or not in the spirit of hiking. But that’s my opinion.

It didn’t happen on the PCT but seems common on this trail.

As I made my way down the road I remembered my pizza in the fridge oh well I’m not going back now . I crossed the road and began the trail which took me around a beautiful lake or it would of been if the mist wasn’t hiding it

It was still pouring with rain as I followed the trail around the lake.

As I came to a junction I was confused on which way to go, as I was divering three American hikers came by( the ones who I met yesterday)

Straight on snail, I tagged onto their train and followed them for many miles as I liked their pace.

They eventually stopped for a break ,but i carried on . Eventually I came to the first shelter my lunch stop. I dropped my packed and was relaxing when the 3 Americans showed up.

I was tucking In to my snacks and rested . I was just about to leave when Beth and Dan turned up I chatted for a while then took off.

we discussed .milage. it rather what did I need to do.

Okay so 20 miles will take me here. or 23 will takeke me to.!!

I fancied the last option

I hadn’t gone far when it began to chuck it down. I pushed on pounding through the puddles.

I seem to be able to hike much faster in the rain. Maybe it was because the ground was soft.

Oh that I could switch my brain off but it did not seem long until the second shelter came into view.

I stopped signed the book and then pushed on . I was on a mission. I wanted that 23 miles . I wasn’t long past the shelter when the rain stopped and the sun tried to shine.

so I had to stop to take off my rain jacket as I was roasting.

I pushed on feeling much better .

I eventually came out by the road. as I looked around the trail head i noticed another hiker called Green bean sat on the fence We chatted for a moment before i crossed over the road.

The first mile had been especially designed for wheelchair users and so the gradient was very low as it snaked through the field.

At the end of this stretch was a view point with a actual perfect view of the mountains.

I sat on the bench for a no took a few snaps and then moved on . the next field had cows in the first that I had seen

I crossed into the field and followed huge stone blocks that marked the trail. The hours ticket by as my lrgs began to grow weary , now where is that shelter.

I came to water so automatically filled up. there was some nice aces to put my tent. But no I wanted that 23 miles so pushed on .

At last, okay need a place for my tent . But with there is space in the shelter.

As I made my way to it lady names 3 socks asked if I wanted to finish her spaghetti. I grabbed the packet and woofer the content.

I then set up my bed before cooking my own supper.

As we say there the mice began scurrying about in the rafters.Nice!

There were 5 of us in the shelter and soon we were all asleep.

Day 36

Tuesday15th may .

I was determined to make a good start so I was up early and packed by 6.30. drank my tea and woofed a Danish and hit the trail at 7

It was was cool and overcast perfect hiking weather for me.

The trail started with s small but steep climb then I was on my way .

sad I have said I am not a fast hiker. more of a plodder. But I felt I was doing hood mage until handstand and another hiker zoomed past me .

It is a little intimidating but hey hike your own hike.

I pushed on and on passing bumble bee camping in a field and then I came. to 2 hikers who I met late let night who hiked on. I was impressed on the mileage that they had made.

I pushed on until I came to water I drank a litre and topped up.my bladder.

It was 2 miles to laurel falls ..that was first target.

soon I was following the river . I crossed a bridge and climbed up and joinedthe river on the other side

I then continued to follow it as it owed far below me. Now it was time to climb down. the way was huge stone steps so it took me a while. But wow it was worth it .the falls were magnificent. some people were swimming but not me.

so stayed for 40 minutes before moving on. The trail followed the river for most of the day before a huge climb.

I decided to stop for lunch and take another break before tackling the climb

Omg the climb took me 2 hrs and again in my view it was a pointless climb. completely unnecessary. no view no purpose. But this is the AT.

I have to say it was so humid that my shorts were soaked. it seemed that I had a leaking water bottle nut no it was my sweat. YUCK

AT last I was st the top so now headed back down. in the distance thunder began to rumble

I may be getting wet. as I began the ever ending spiral down I was suddenit passed by Beth and speedy . fancy coming out for dinner snail she said

Of course I replied.

Beth is fast so soon was goon.

It was 2 miles to the hostel so I pushed as fast as I could .

In an hour I was at the Hostel. sadly no more rooms .

I checked in grabbed a soda then the heavens opened.

I quickly found a tent spot and put up my tent sorted my gear then went grabbed a shower.

so then met with Beth & Dan . their friends turned up and they invited me for beer then went out to dinner. we went to a pizza place with live music.

it was great I had a 16″ Pizza which was awesome washed down with 4 pints of various ales. we had a great time laughing and enjoying each other’s company..

eventually it was time to leave .once back we had a few more beers then it was time for bed

Day 35 leaving the Hostel

Robs funeral Monday 14th May

even though I was by the road I slept well but woke in the night saturated in sweat not good when your bag is down.

I tried my self down a d went back to sleep walk g at 6.30. I was in no hurry as breakfast wasn’t until 8 am.

But I needed the loo. So unzipped my went and groggy made my wayto the porter potty as I walked. Zippy past me by all packed. Fuck your all packed.

I did my chores then hurried back to my tent dropped my food at and began stuffing items into my bag.

I actually impressed myself that I we packed in 25 minutes. AT record for me. I swept my tent space then slung my pack onto my back and walked the short way back to the hostel.

.my eyes were not REALLY awake but I could see two people waving to me speaking to me……. Omg it was Dan a d Beth. I dropped my pack at the hostel and went and gave the. a huge hug. as it was so nice to see them again. they had bed. picked up by friends at the trail head and had been for beer and food (Envy envy) . Then got to the hostel late last night.

I said I would catch up.later as there was coffee being served downstairs. I drained two large cups flowed by a few Danish.

Then breckfast was announced as .much as you can eat for $12

I am. not familiar with the foods and all of there names. But I left with a very large plate of food that i quickly devoured. washed down with lots of orange juice cranberry juice and more coffee.

I was then ready to head out.i filled up my water then flavoured it with lemonade. I just needed more gas. So had to wait for the store to open.

I went and said goodbyes to Dan & Beth. they were still waiting for laundry and so would be a while..

I hoisted my pack and set off then a pickup stopped a d offered me a ride back to the trail head oh yes please .

I hit the trail at 9am and wanted 17 miles and all ready it was hot. I knew that i had several smallish climbs and then it would be reasonably flat

I started in the forest then exited into lush fields .the trail wound it’s way across and up.

Once again she. you leave a town or resupply you are heavy so my back ached as It grew accustomed to the new Load. THE fields made a nice change as I wound my way across then I came across a very well kept cemetery. I stopped and looked at a few graves more out of curiosity.

Then I walked back to the trail. the forests are l changing with ants and flowers comi g into bloom and the birds singing away. I stopped and tried for 10 minutes to try and get a photo of this bird called a Cardinal.

It is the size of a English blackbirds but it is bright red. But he did t want his photo taking. Also the chipmunk seemed tamer today and a red squirrel made me jump.

But best of all the trail was nice. no big climbs.no big downs just a gentle roller coaster I loved it. I was in no hurry I thought get to the first shelter see how I feel. Then i came to a side trail that was recommended. it led to a water fall

Oh wow it was lovely

Well I loved it

I stopped and stared for a while before heading back to the main trail. in several more .miles I came to another not quite as grand but still good.

I filled up with water then dropped a bottle top that quickly was washed away. Dam that was careless I said yourself but luckily I carry a spare. I walked on knowing that the next shelted was very near and it was time for a break

The shelter soon appeared and it was fairly new. No one was there so I ate lunch alone signed the shelter log and stuck a sticker on the graffiti board.

Okay next shelter I can do that.

I set off the sun getting hotter and hotter. I would of liked to have started earlier. But I needed that great breakfast. The trail continued as the morning . a lovely gentle trail no rocks . love it so I pushed the miles. the forests again where alive with bird song I think the singing was from these tiny birds called warblers.

I pushed on and on .phew it’s hot I decided to take 10 minutes at 4 pm to rest .

I ate the rest of today’s snacks glugged my lemonade then checked my map 4 miles to go.

6.30 I guesstimated and set off again I had a few up hills so didn’t want to carry any extra water up I had climbed the last one. So pushed on and on .I k we my bladder was low but I didn’t want to stop.

my plan was to fill up every thing at the last water before the shelter, as the shelter had poor water and it was far.

I crossed over a rushing creek , should I get water

But I pushed on . I did this scenario at each water I came to but still carried on .Then I panicked that the last water may be crappy so I filled up at the next water. As I was filtering a young hiker came by . and I explained about the water . So she too grabbed a litre. Okay I mile to go but I was hauling 4 liters which was heavy and of course UP hill.

At last the shelter came into view. I quickly found a tent spot and put up my tent and got organized. I was just getting g my cooking gear when Bob arrived and OMG He had packed me out a beer. Good man. we toasted. each other then necked them .

I made tea then realised my Chilli Mac that I was excited to eat for supper was actually Mac cheese bugger bugger oh well my fault eyes test.

I cooked it up added bacon and pine nuts and it really was good better than the last Mac cheese that I brought but there was lots of it . as I’m eating Zippy arrived and then pig pen

i offere Pig Pen the rest of my dinner but say oh but it’s got bacon in it thinking she may be a veggie. Then I add oh and nuts . she imeaditly spits it out as she .ca t eat nuts . I’m so sorry I say and we laugh.

OOPS !!!!!!!

WE carry on chatting butit is late so we hang our food then turn in. night all

Day 33

Saturday 12 May

Dozed for a bit then got up.

Somersault had already left and left early. I went to the woods then retrieved my food bag. I removed my fly and then put water on to boil.

I began to pack up as the water came to the boil. I ate breckfast then finished packing. By the time I walked into the trail it was already in the 70s I think somersault had the right idea.

The trail began gentley but I knew that I had big climbs to do later.

I sun was hot as I pounded Down thehe trail. and I was heading down . and I headed down for a long long time. . the trail then crossed the road and as I crossed over Bob caught me . Bob is fairly tall so has huge strides so skips up mountains the bastard.

This was the start of the the first climb again it started gently then shot straight up s d steep I climbed for over 2 hours beforeI reached thetop and had to take a break as I was shattered then it was a short bit down followed by another 2 mile climb.

This was through pine forest so was sheltered for the sun thank God but again it was steep.

2 hrs later I emerged on top of s grassy bank with nothing to see and then it imeaditly went down and steep down . the trail then became pebbles and became busy with clean people and many dogs. I guessed it was a tourist spot but I hadn’t a clue what or where until an hour later I emerged o. the Tennessee / North Carolina border. There were cars every where.

I spied Bob sat by the forest sign and joined him.and are lunch. see were hoping for a free soda or fruit but nought.

Then the girls joined Us from yesterday’s camp but I can o my remember Pig Pen

After my break I hoisted my pack and set off with all the clean day tripers up the other side of the hill. once up the views were spectacular but the trail was up and down exhausting me. I ploughed on for several hours . meeting a bunch of scouts out hiking they were very chatty do I tagged along with them.

I original target was the seco d shelter mile 16 ish. But when I got there I pushed on as I wanted more miles.

This may of been unwise as it was up very very steep up Nd it went on and on. Then across more hills. My map said two miles but I’m convinced it was more likely 4 at last I came to water as mega had had enough walking . I filled up and walked on knowing that the campsite was very near.

I spied Bob putting up his tent a d quickly followed suit.

we the. ate dinner together and as we ate deer joined us completely unfazed that we were here.

Then it was time to hang out as the. bed

Day 34 Heading to Roan

Sunday may 13th

As I was close to town I could afford the luxury ofa lie in. So enjoyed the time.

At 7.30 I unfit my zip and peered out .I half expected Bob to be gone. But no be also slept in.

I retrieved my food bag and began to make tea. Then a few hikers began to appear god they must of gotten up really early. One of them was in Bob’s posse she was on trail by six. You go girl.

I made tea the. ate a honey bun like a Danish but with 4 times the calories. it was yummy.

I then slowly packedup. and I was soon. on the trail.

I only had about 7 miles to do. But standing before me was hump mountain. I stood and stared at if before beginnig the climb. Luckily their was a nice cool breeze.

I chuggedup it little by little. stopping at about a 1/4 to video and again at half way and at the top. I have to say that the viewswere amazing. But I am done with mountain’s. I would like to see something new!

But some how I do not thinkthat I will.

Once over the trail snaked it’s way across some lush meadows before deciding to head down. Again it started nice but then turned to Ankle twisting rock. i battled through this for about an hour until the trail passed through some nice cool forest crossing several streams.

I was spiralling down whilst listening to the beautiful bird song. Most of the birds I have seen have been tiny finch like but the most amazing colours.

I continued my spiral decent for about another 2 hours u till I began to hear traffic.

i began to follow a stream. that kept getting bigger until I arrived at the road.

Okay snail left for Roan. and right for Elm Park and beer.

I turned left and as I walked along the road i noti ed a sign for the Harbour hostel.

Well that will do me. I. carried on walking and soon entered.

It was really nice and very CLEAN

I Signed for tent spot $10 washing a dollar and all you can eat breakfast in the morning $12.

I dumped my clothes into the machine after soaking my socks for 40 mins yes they need it. Then to the shower OMG they were good .

Once we. it was lunch I had the AT burger a 12oz burger and fries washed down. with cherry coke

Then after I dozed until I had room for ice cream I did a pint of strawberry cheesecake yummy with more soda no Beer here !!

After I went to put up my tent in by the river so may be condensation in the morning.

Once my tent was up I finished my chores ie laundry and resupply and ordered supper. Healthy chicken salad

now I’m now in my tent doing my journal night