Day 51 -April 27 2017 – 15.9 miles – Iron Mountain Shelter to Abingdon Shelter
Two miles into our day we came across a gravestone with the saddest inscription I have ever seen.
4.5 miles beyond the gravestone the trail went from a tree crowded corridor to wide open farmland. We crossed a road and met an old timer trimming some weeds with a weed whacker. When he saw us he turned off his machine and walked over to us. He handed us some oatmeal cream pies and we talked for a little bit. He had hiked the AT in 1995 during his retirement. When I asked him if he had any advice for us he said, “Turn around and go home….Because come every March or April, your going to want to do it again.”
The next ten miles were uneventful other than the trail had a lot of small ups and downs. When viewed in the guidebook the terrain didn’t look too bad. The problem was that the guidebooks scale was better suited for changes over several hundred feet. If the trail went up 100 feet then went down 100 feet the elevation change looked like a small innocuous squiggle. In reality the multitude of squiggles can add up to a tiring day. I began to call them Death Squiggles.
At the Abingdon Shelter we met up with Wolfie and Left Eye again. I’m not sure how our paths parted and joined again, but it was good to see them. I believe Sir Poops and Piper were there as well. All of us were excited about what we were about to accomplish the very next day. We would be entering the state of Virginia and staying in the famous trail town of Damascus.
Zeus and Flashfire had hiked to within 2 miles of town so they could eat breakfast in town.
After eating dinner it started to rain. We called it a day. I was ready for bed anyway.