Finally today, I ran into trail magic. And this one was serious! The Settlers Museum has permanent trail magic in their school house and the local church did a cookout on location during the day today as well. I stopped by about 9:30 in the morning and got the first burger off the grill. 🍔
Schoolhouse @ Settlers Museum
The hike today was a difficult one. There was lots of elevation gain and the trail was very rocky. The view from up top was worth the climb.
Overlooking Marion, VA
I ran into a 70-year-old thru-hiker without a trail name. He is now “Three Feathers.” He’s been collecting feathers to signify how they “lighten the load”, both physically and mentally.
At the end of the day I got stranded at the Mount Rogers HQ and had to hitchhike down to Marion. I got a ride with a nice couple; I sat in the backseat with their Chihuahua, ha ha.
I’m spending the night in Marion and plan to do my second zero tomorrow. I’ll be getting ready for the final push to Damascus through Grayson Highlands and Mount Rogers.
AT Thru-Hike Stats
Section Day #17 (5/26/19)
Start – Long Neck Lair (545.7)
End – Mt Rogers Nat. Rec. HQ (534.2)
Today’s mileage: 11.5
Total section miles: 195.6
Total miles on AT: 912.0
Section avg daily miles: 11.5
“Zeros” taken: 1
Section avg w/o zeros: 12.2
Distance to Damascus: 63.6
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.