Sunday, October 9th 2016
Start: Chestnut Knob Shelter
End: US 52/0 Days Inn
During the night, the rain stopped but the wind kept howling by in excess of 30 MPH and the temperature was ~40 degrees without windchill factoring in. I managed to ignore any bathroom needs until around 5:30am. I then huddled in my sleeping bag until around 6:45am when I got up for good. For the first time ever on this trip, I wore my hat, gloves, and jacket out of the shelter when I started out around 7:45am. I needed them for the first hour or so, until the sun started to warm things up.
I made good time and hit my halfway point around 11:45am. I then managed to make my final destination for the day by 4pm. Today’s high was around 58-62 and very windy so I didn’t really want to stop moving for long. Tomorrow should be warmer.
I hiked down from Chestnut Knob Shelter (4393′), down to Walker Gap (3520′), up Garden Mountain (3869′), across VA 623 (3867′), down to Jenkins Shelter (2400′), past Laurel Creek/VA 615 (2450′), up to Trail Boss Trail intersection (3099′), down to powerlines (2721′), and then up the US 52 (3088′).
Originally, I was planning on hiking 18 miles tomorrow and then slackpacking back to Pearisburg the day after, a 26 mile hike. However, the fellow here at the hostel offered to slackpack me tomorrow to the final road crossing before the trail enters the woods for a long while. From there, I’ll hike out into the woods and either tent or stay at the next shelter. It will let me split some of those miles, making the last day’s miles more manageable.