AT Thru-Hike Day 38

Moreland Gap Shelter (3,823 feet) mile 413.7 to Boots Off Hostel (2,081 feet) mile 428.4 mile for a 14.7 mile day!

Oh my, where do I start. When I set out on this adventure, I knew days like today would happen and I’m going to be open and honest about it all.

I left the shelter this morning around 9:00, and it started with a short climb, followed by a few more but really nothing big!

Around mile 420 I walked .2 miles to Kincora Hostel. I did not go there to stay, but to sit on the porch and talk with Bob Peoples, trail maintainer for 25 years or more now. In fact, Bob told me that this old barn I passed used to be a tobacco barn many many years ago. It’s actually an old primitive barn, he said it is now infested with giant rat snakes that used to eat the chickens that were raised in the area. He also said that the house hat was with it was torn down by the forest service so hikers didn’t try to get into it to stay the night, they knew the snakes would keep them out of the barn!

Bob had so much wisdom about the AT as well as the, Jesus Trail in Israel, the Camino de Santiago, Scottish highland way among other international trails. I ended up staying there for an hour and a half and I think it really hurt my mojo I had going on.

From there I went into the Laurel Fork Gorge and man was it beautiful!

Here is where the wheels fell apart and the mountain got the best of me.

Walking up a stone staircase into the first of 22 switchbacks going up the mountain with no name! Why they took the hiker up and over a mountain with no published name on our maps and no views, I don’t know, would have been just as easy to hold an elevation and go around the mountain, although maybe then it would have been a longer hike!

Climbing and climbing I finally stopped to catch my breath and get a drink of water before going on. Many many time today I asked when this climb would be over and why am I doing this anyway. I wanted a zip line to get down so I could call Suzanna to come get me, even though I knew she wouldn’t have done it, she would have encouraged me and I would have pressed on. How do I know this, because, I texted her and told her today is one of those days I’m not supposed to quit on, she encouraged me to go on and push through it, and so I did.

Then I came to the top, I loaded up with water and drank a liter, then I started down. Here we go, all over again, down and down and down. Oh, so, it was up 1,816 feet and down 1,795 feet in 5.8 miles! That’s a grade of 622 feet/mile!!

Again, I just felt like I wanted to stop and out my tent up and go to sleep, but I wouldn’t have enough water and there was absolutely no flat spots!! I was literally on the side of this mountain with no name! Oh, but I saw the lake a knew that meant at least I was on the right trail and the right down hill!!!

Honestly, the last 6 miles I felt like someone put rocks in my bag. This bag has been hurting me every afternoon since I started this adventure. I’m always having to adjust it on my shoulders and it’s driving me nuts, oh, and it’s hurting! I may try to find another one or talk with the guy that sold it to me in Damascus!

I finally made it down to Boots Off Hostel and got some food and more water in me! Now to get some sleep and let the recovery begin!

2 thoughts on “AT Thru-Hike Day 38

  1. You can do all things thru Christ who strengthens you! I love you and I’m so proud of you for doing the hard things! Your cheerleader, S


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