Day 51 Closing in on Damascus VA

Day 51, Mile 456.

To close the loop on the beginning of the adventure to Nashville: Sweet Spot picked me up in Hampton TN (near Johnson City), we drove to North Georgia to pick up my car. On the way we passed through a number of trail towns and saw familiar sights and old friends.

Upon arriving at Amicalola State Park my car battery was dead (expected due to call from the ranger to home — apparently my lights came on during a storm). Worse the car was flooded (cause unknown) with an inch or two of water only on the driver side floorboards. As if the car decided to roll down the windows and roll them back up again? Anyways, we mopped up the water with our pack towels and jumped the car. The car started thankfully and other than some weird electrical issues (spontaneously engaging hazard lights for four hours provided the comedy for the four hour journey) and constantly sloshing water on Slopes feet in the back seat it made it home. However something is wrong with the battery because it won’t hold a charge. If you leave it turned off it goes dead.
Needless to say car is in the shop. And I left my car at home for this next leg of the journey.

Settling back in to life on the trail. On Monday I drove a rental car up from Nashville with Slopes, Sheep, and Love Machine. I dropped them off and then returned the rental. After trying to hitch for a few minutes the sky opened up and I sheepishly secured a shuttle in a town car. He dropped me off where I left off at approximately 9pm. Rain had stopped and it felt good to be back on the trail. Night hiked up and over Pond Mountain through a violent and voracious thunderstorm….everything got wet and some stuff is still drying two days later! Trail welcoming me back I guess.

Tuesday morning hiked down to Watauga Lake and enjoyed some Gatorades and a Coke that were left as trail magic. Did about 15 miles and wound up at Iron Mountain shelter. Rain started about 9pm and I called it a night.

Today I hiked about 15 miles and also dashed to Shady Valley TN for a small resupply + burger. Burger was just ok.
Hitched back with a 2011 thru hiker headed for Trail Days.

Which brings me to Damascus, 10 miles north and the site of Trail Days which begins on Friday officially. It’s the biggest event on the trail and full of workshops, free food, gear vendors. It’s supposed to be awesome.

After Damascus I may try to get a ride back to Nashville and wrap up this journey – we will see. A part of me would like to continue on but I feel like I need to get home and move on to the next chapter. Really want to spend some time in Seattle this summer.

Hope everyone is well!

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