Damascus, VA

Mile 469

You know what they say, “No rain, no Maine.”Actually I only heard that once but it would make sense if that was a common phrase out here. Lots of rain this last week . Not complaining or anything but it is worth mentioning.

After I left Standing Bear I spent the night up on Max Patch(formerly Mack’s Patch), cowboy camping with about twenty other people. Max Patch is a big field on top of a mountain with views of the Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee. It was a cool clear night, great for watching the sunset, shooting stars and sunrise. Since then I think it’s rained at least a little everyday. And it’s been cold rain, and hail, and sleet and heavy winds. Real talk. More than once I found myself using most of my muscles to hold down the flap of my tent from being blown open and having all my stuff get soaked.

Amazingly I’ve still had enough strength to crank out some serious miles. Hiking in this weather can be fun, I get to stomp through big mud puddles all day and the rain itself almost counts as a shower. Almost.

Every few days the trail goes right through some cool little towns where I get to participate in my three favorite trail activities: eating cheeseburgers, eating pancakes and drinking milkshakes. I’m starting to get really hungry while I’m out here. It’s fun. I take stuffing my face pretty seriously. Just kidding, but I do have to mention it because I spend so much time thinking about food.

This last week I’ve gone through Hot Springs, NC, Erwin, TN, and now I’m in the ultimate trail town Damascus, VA. Also I stopped at this awesome place Kincora Hostel for a shower and laundry the other day. The hostel is run by trail angel Bob Peoples. Bob is incredible, a real legend out here with Chuck Norris level status. And I got to meet him.

Trail magic on the AT has been pretty legit. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about trail magic is food or any other kind of resource needed by hikers usually left unexpectedly at road crossings by people who are either former hikers, trail angels or just fans. It can be anything from a bunch of bananas or a cooler of sodas or people setting up grills serving hot food. Twice this week I got fed unexpectedly. ‘Wheaties’ and Mark had grill operations going at two different spots with all kinds of stuff for us. It was awesome!! And absolute perfect timing since I’m always wicked hungry.

I just crossed into Virginia yesterday and this is the longest state of the AT with something like 500 plus miles. Stay tuned because I have a feeling I’m about to lay the proverbial smack down on Ol’Virginny. For more pictures feel free to follow me on the gram(Instagram) @endlesspsummer


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