Day 21 – Virginia

Three weeks in and I am blessed with some more interesting weather. Before I get in to my day of waking let me explain the weather with a couple stories. Yesterday afternoon a winter storm came in and overnight 5 hikers were staying in a shelter (3 sided rugged building) as I do most night and between the snow and wind, a tree was knocked over and fell through their shelter. They called 911 and were all ok. The second story involves checking the news when i arrived in Damascus only to see that every local new story involved power outages or fallen trees. With this in mind, as you would expect, my day involved wind snow and rain. I woke up with 18 miles to make it to Damascus and was greeted with 3 inches of snow on the ground and a very cold and uninviting morning temperature. For this reason I got up a lot later than normal and didn’t start walking for a while either. 18 miles is not a great number to start at. It is too many to do before lunch but also not enough to feel good about making it your entire day. With this in mind I put my head down, filled my pockets with snacks and just kept walking until I made it into town. The wind was brutal and blew the falling snow sideways into my face. There were countless large branches and fallen trees across the trail and for being easy terrain and a simple grade, there was nothing simple about it. It is ironic that I got a new set of traction devices (Stabilicers) the day before it snowed. What great timing. I made it into Damascus and walked the AT along its path right through the middle of town. I purchased stove fuel and some snacks then had an average meal and recharged my phone before putting in 8 more miles to round out a solid day considering it was a town day. Unfortunately this shelter is pretty infested with mice.