Day 37: Vandeventer to Abingdon Gap

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Broadcasting for the last time from Tennessee, it's your favorite AT hiker! So all that complaining yesterday about the feet turned out to be no problemo today. Instead all the pain migrated to my right calf muscle, it basically felt like it was cramping up all afternoon.  Probably deficient in some nutrient or something...

So today was a BIG one for everybody. A big crew passed the shelter at 6 am heading for Damascus (the next town) on a 40 miler... Well find out soon if they actually made it. Roughin it packed up early and went on his personal best 33 miler to Damascus and aikido Jo and I did the lazy, but still personal bests, 23 miles to this shelter.

So 23 miles: special because it's our longest yet AND it's a 1% day, AND today we passed 20% on the trail. Wow, feel like we need some celebratory beer or something. However that is located a rainy 10 miles away.  It's been rainy all afternoon, but because we got going at a good time and 15 miles before lunch, we only had to walk the last 8 mi in the drizzle. Now that we have all our camp chores done and we are in the sleeping bags it is coming down. On nights like this it's great to be in a shelter and not have to worry about packing up a wet (and heavy) tent in the AM. 

Pretty hiking in the afternoon including going over a "handicap accessable" section of the trail. Green meadow with vistas of distant mtns and all the trees showing off their springtime colors. It's really weird right now in the mtns, as all the trees sort of look like fall. There are yellows, reds, oranges in addition to the normal white, pink, and light green colors you typically associate with this time of year.We are complaining about the rain, but we need it. A little worried about the forecast thunderstorms, because we are going to be exposed up in the Grayson highlands, but well deal with that later. 

6.7 miles to Virginia, we are quite excited but of course VA is also the longest state and we'll be there more or less for a 3rd of the trail. I'll need motivational pep talks from y'all once we get mired in long days, hot weather, bugs, and rain. 

Damascus is pretty small, maybe they'll have cell service, but I don't know. Thanks for all your support up to this point, I honestly didn't even think I could make it this far and I know I owe some of that accomplishment to the fans at home.Take care and know that I'll be sleeping well with that beautiful tapping of the rain on the roof and the smell of spring in the air. Course having walked 20 miles may also contribute.
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Yvie on

Hey, congratulations on your day of milestones yesterday! Good stuff. :) Virginia will be awesome for you! Eat hearty and take good care. I have forwarded your link to two of our friends who are really interested in your trek. You have many fans and admirers, Robert!
Love, Yvie

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