Day 37: A.T. Hike Ends
I was tent camped near the Abingdon Gap Shelter last night. I arrived just at dark to find a group of 20 something southbound thru-hikers there. They got up at 5am and, like 20 something thru-hikers, they made no attempt to be quiet as they made breakfast. So I did not sleep in even though I only had a 10 mile hike. I crossed into Virginia after 7 miles and arrived in Damascus just before noon.
First up, a stop at Hey Joe’s for tacos. Next I found my way to the Woodchuck Hostel. This town has made big business out of hikers and bikers. There are at least a dozen hostels and inns in town. I moved up a notch from a bunkhouse and have a private room with a real bed and linens for $45. It is a converted outbuilding, not fancy. I passed on the teepee which was also available.
I am clean, in clean clothes and had a huge dinner. My hike is over and I am feeling pretty darn good. Weighed in here and have lost 29 pounds on this hike. Still overweight, just not as badly.
I had two questions before this hike. Could I still do long distance hiking and would I still enjoy it. Yes and yes. I will never have 20 year old legs and knees again but I can still plod along and make miles. I also still love the trail life, though I miss my wife and dog.
I have some issues to work out at home but I think my PCT hike is on.