So the past 3 days have been a test. 7 of us agreed to have a race we called the "Damascus Dash". A 75 mile trail race from Mountain Harbour Hostel on 19E to the Damascus welcome sign a few miles across the border of VA. The rules were as follows...
1) You have to eat a full breakfast from Miss Mary at the hostel. Which isn't hard because the breakfast is probably the best on the trail.
2) Everyone must start at the same time.
3) Everyone you must sign in at every shelter log.
4) You have to take a picture at Laurel Falls.
5) Bonus beer for catching someone you know is more than a day ahead of you and taking a picture with that person.
Everyone that finishes ahead of you, you owe them a beer. Winner drinks for free pretty much.
Having spent 98% of the past 3 days completely alone I've had a lot of time to think. Most of the time I couldn't think much further than how bad my feet hurt. The mileage for me went as follows,
I finished in third with a time of 2 days, 5 hours and 40 minutes.
That's 2 back to back marathons and then another long day. Add in the weight of my pack and the mountainous terrain and it all equals some sore feet and my first 2 blisters of the whole trip. It rained, ok it poured today. I was completely soaked within 3 minutes of the first drop hitting my head. I thought it would pass quickly but after 15 minutes I was cold and walking as fast as I could to keep my body warm. I finally wised up and put on my rain jacket after that.
To walk into Virginia was an awesome feeling. To put 3 states behind me and be back in my birth state is a good feeling. 540 miles of trail in Virginia is somewhat daunting, but also exciting.
I can't wait for the warm weather and midday swim calls.
I have one more special announcement to make. I WILL BE HIKING TO MAINE!!!!!! I got the go ahead from work to finish the trail and I could not be happier. I am officially a thru hiker candidate for 2012!! There may not be another opportunity in my life to do something like this so I plan to take full advantage of it. The only downside I can see is that I will not see home or the great state of Louisiana until september or so. This goes two fold for the people, food and friends within it. But I know I'll get back there soon enough.
Until next time I have some blisters and sore muscles to attend to...