Day 44 (May 6th): Damascus to Lost Mountain Shelter

*THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR PATIENCE! I’m still hiking the trail and only have 639.1 miles left to go! I’ve gotten a bit behind on my blog, as you’ve noticed. I don’t enjoy blogging on my phone and have been waiting to use a computer, but I’ve been going into town less often and haven’t had frequent access to a computer. I’m home for a couple of days right now because I had a wedding and birthday party to go to, so now I can blog!*

Miles hiked today: 14.7
Miles hiked total: 483.2
Miles to go: 1702.1

Today was a really tough day for me.

After eating breakfast, Stylez, Wing It, and I hit the trail. The sun was blazing as we set out and we had a big climb out of town. From almost the beginning of the day, I was dragging. Zero days are nice for relaxing, but they really do mess with my trail legs!

We paralleled the Virginia Creeper Trail for a good portion of today’s hike, and the AT and the Creeper Trail joined together at times. (The Virginia Creeper Trail is a popular rail trail that attracts many bikers.)

Toward the end of the day, after leaving the Saunders Shelter where I stopped for a quick break, the trail sloped down again. Normally, I love downhills and look forward to them. However, today I was hurting and even the downhills were slowing me down. At numerous times throughout the hike, I had to stop and take my bag off and sit down, just so I could rest my feet for a few minutes. My feet were throbbing and I have no idea why! I have a feeling the SuperFeet I’ve been using just aren’t working for me. I’ve been using the Berry (purple colored) SuperFeet, and I think I need to try out some other insoles, either the Green SuperFeet (which is the most popular), or some other brand, because the Berry insoles just aren’t cutting it.

I thought that Stylez and Wing It were way ahead of me since I was moving so slow, but when I got to the bottom of the hill, they were sitting down resting. Apparently their feet were hurting them, too! We all rested for a bit and then slung our packs on our backs and limped and crawled the rest of the way to Lost Mountain Shelter. It was not an easy last couple of miles, and all of us were anxious to be done with the day, and finally we were! My favorite part of the day was when I got close enough to the shelter to hear voices and knew the end of the day was in sight!

At the shelter were a bunch of new hikers I’ve never met before, including a man named Snickers who’s actually from New Hampshire and works at a popular restaurant in North Conway, close to where my cousins live, as well as a hiker named Whitey. Wiki was also there. He hiked out s’mores ingredients and everyone gathered around the fire to roast marshmallows. It was a nice ending to a difficult day.


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