AT Thru-Hike Day 54

Rice Fields Shelter (3,354 feet) mile 644.2 to Big Stony Creek Road (2,461 feet) mile 659.1 for a 14.9 mile day! We ascended 2,294 feet and descended 3,151 feet!

Today was a surprisingly tough day. There wasn’t really any major climbs that went on for long but there were lots of rocks, big ones, little ones, medium size ones, some moved, some stayed still, while others were just there to trip you or poke you in the feet. There was a lot of down hill though, and these two things in a day cause major pain in my feet. Today I ordered a new pair of shoes, it is probably beyond time, but, it’s done. I went with a different brand all together to see how their design helps my feet. I’m being told by many folks that the Hoka Speed Goat is a great shoes that helps lessen the work in the calves. Once I get these feet figured out, watch out!

I woke up this morning and finished yesterday’s blog and posted it while I still had decent service. I just knew when I went down off this ridge that I would lose service, and sure enough, I did! This was the view this morning when I unzipped my tent.

Today, we passed a cell phone tower, which would explain the cell signal! We also passed a power transmission tower, and attached to one of them was a weather station and a camera, which I assume was to show pictures of the sky from the “sky cam”.

This section has been very dry, no creek crossings to get water from, nor are there any springs. Around 6 miles or so into the hike today we finally found a spring, it was flowing at about 1 liter per 2 minutes. Another thing I have learned out here on the AT, patience.! Sometimes things don’t happen quickly, well, actually, things never happen quickly! Things aren’t always the same out here either, I mean, yesterday it took us eight and a half hours to do 15 miles, some days we can do that in 6 hours.

I had to explain this to my buddy Tom who stopped by on his way back to Charlotte from New York. It was great to see him after two months! He met us at a road crossing and brought us into town so we could sit down and eat as much food as we could instead of eating a pouch of dehydrated food, as good as those are, it was great to get some of the best BBQ I have ever had in Pembroke, Va., at Bluegrass Barbecue! Tom had been in New York for six weeks working, which he has done this time of year for the past few years.

Thanks again, Tom, for taking time out of your drive to sit with, and be seen with, some stinky hikers and eat!

Oh, and if you’re ever in Pembroke, Va. or anywhere near it for that matter, do yourself a favor and stop in at Bluegrass BBQ!!

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