Rain rain go away

I have made it to Damascus, VA. Yesterday was a long 26 mile hike, my highest mileage so far. 23 miles were in the rain. I was going to stop at a shelter but two very special hiking friends, Fruit Smoothie and Pumpkin Butt caught up to me and encouraged me to push on to Damascus which was another 11 miles from where we currently were and it was already 2:45pm and still raining. 1 mile in was a shelter and we stopped for a brief snack. They shared some hot oatmeal with me and we were off. The miles flew by despite the weather at a rate about 3 mph thanks to easy climbs and a nice trail. 

We reached the TN/VA stateline border and snapped a photo and kept cruising. Every 45 minutes I was sending ETA updates to Bruce who was meeting us at the trailhead. About 2 miles out the three of us hit a wall and struggled to keep the current pace. With wet soggy feet again, sore arches, blisters and various chaffing we managed to reach Damascus in one piece and ready to sleep and inside a warm dry place. And that we did but not until we cooked a delicious meal of Curry Chicken,  Special Sauce Chicken tenders, jasmine rice and salad. It was a joint effort to prepare the feast. 

Our cabin was so cute and cozy. Just what we needed. Fruit Smoothie and I awoke this morning with extra sore feet so we all decided to take a zero day to recover. We had another dual effort at making breakfast, another feast. Today’s zero also allowed Walking Man, GQ and Ryan to catch up. They strolled off the trail about noon. Our hiking family is back together. Tonight we will all rest and head out tomorrow. 

Bruce has joined us for a few days as our traveling trail angel. The first night he hiked in from the other direction and met us at the shelter with a six-pack and OJ for us light weights. He also brought me a subway which I ate the insides and gave the bread to hungry hikers who were at the shelter with us. He also brought honeybuns, a hikers favorite. He was the hit of the evening. 

Right now I am doing all our laundry. Thank goodness Bruce is here. Not much available for services close by. The owner of our cabin gave us permission to use his machines but it was only one set. So Bruce and I volunteered to drive to the next town and do everyone’s clothes. We all needed fresh laundry. We were all smelling pretty ripe. 

Can’t wait to get back on the trail and plug away at the miles. Weather is supposed to be good. Hopefully the rain has gone away for awhile. I can honestly say I am getting tired of the rain. More the cold after being wet from the rain. 

Happy Hiking everyone. 

Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.