Mile: 602.5 - 634.2 + 0.9 to town (32.6 miles)
I feel like I'm in some sort of strange riddle, what sounds like rain but leaves the ground dry? The caterpillar detritus continues to shower. But mostly I'm just amused by the weirdness of it all. I slept well, in fact I even slept in. Waking up in a pool of sweat to look at my watch and then crashing right back out.
It's hot and muggy early but I get a little bit of mist and the lightest of breezes on my first climb. I make up super hero alter egos for the squirrels I surprise. One in particular goes bounding up the trail ahead of me for ages before taking a kamikaze leap off the side. I dream of being that bouncy.
A nice and bouncy suspension bridge.
This guy looks suspiciously like a flying squirrel. I hope that's what it is just because how cool is that?
It's a quiet morning. A few section hikers and day hikers, and less caterpillars. The trail along Dismal Creek is all rhododendrons and surprisingly wide open muddy forest. Flatter than expected and buggy at least there are lots of streams. It's getting drier and there are more 8-9 mile dry stretches compared with the 1-5 miles I've been spoiled with.
I don't think I'll ever get sick of these tunnels.
The climb up Sugar Run Mountain, it's uneventful and even has a little drizzle. I walk with a guy named Breakneck for a few minutes, not for long though because as his name suggested his pace is outrageous.
There are some pretty rocky outcroppings that actually give some good views and the rhododendrons just get better.
I decide to push on to town, I'll get there late but I know folks who have a room and sleeping in a bed and a shower sound pretty fantastic. The last 2 miles are super steep switchbacks that bring me back into the green tunnel and then it's a mile walk into town. As I get to Main Street I see familiar faces and I'm so glad I pushed on. I even made it before dark which was unexpected, a long day but a good one.
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