Thursday, April 23, 2009

Iron Mountain Shelter to Abingdon Gap Shelter

Thursday, 4/23

AT Miles = 15.9 / 452.8
Other Miles = 0 / 20.1
Total Miles = 15.9 / 472.9

Glorious Day!

A great night's sleep, followed by a glorious day. Finally! Finally, we got some really, really nice weather. I woke up once during the night and had to get out to pee; the sky was full of stars and I could see the lights down in the valley.

It was cool this morning, but the sun was shining and the temp was coming up fast. I had only about 15 miles to go and the terrain was relatively easy, so I consciously decided to take it easy and enjoy my day as much as I could. It somehow worked out that I managed to be in the right frame of mind when such a beautiful day presented itself. I wasn't trying to do big miles like yesterday, and I knew today wouldn't be a physical challenge.

A few miles into the day I met Pop and Gwemmy, two retired local hikers out for a day hike carrying a big bag of snacks to hand out to the thru-hikers. They gave me a couple of Rice Krispy treats and a tangerine.

Later in the morning I passed several groups of seniors out for a day hike, and when I stopped at Double Springs Shelter to eat lunch, they soon all showed up. I enjoyed talking with them, and one of them gave me several mini Snickers bars, which I wasted no time in consuming.

It's a beautiful evening right now, and I am here with 5 other hikers. Three of them I met last night, and two just this evening. I did some of my laundry when I got here. I doubt my socks will dry overnight, but they will dry on the back of my pack tomolrrow.

I promised some of you I would do a "Da in the life of a hiker" thing, and toda is the day I picked to do it. Hopefully I will be able to get all my photos uploaded while I am in Damascus. Damascus is just ten miles away, so I should be there around noon tomorrow. I haven't decided yet if I will take a zero there or not. I think it depends mostly on whether I can get enough computer time to take care of all my photos. Then I need to shop for the next 5 or 6 day leg. From Damascus I will be off for thr Grayson Highlands.

Oh, sometime tomorrow morning I will walk out of Tennessee and into Virginia!

Okay, I feel disjointed and incoherent tonight, so I better quit.

Allen Freeman


TD Mehlman said...

Wave to Barbara Kingsolver as you walk by tomorrow. I think you'll be passing pretty near where she lives.

I'm really enjoying your posts. Thanks for doing it. Looking forward to the photos.


Alex said...

Just a general backpacking question here. How do you deal with wet boots/feet after it rains? I am assuming you just walk with wet feet most of the time, but didn't know if you had any techniques that are keeping you dry or helping you to dry your boots after it rains. Thanks.

Allen Freeman said...


On days when it is really raining for hours on end, I wear gaiters which keep most of the water out of my boots. Fresh socks the next morning take care of most of the dampness. When it rains for days on end, well, everybody ends up hiking with wet feet!

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