Mile 273.5 Hot Springs, NC to mile 469 Damascus, VA

I am laying in a cozy bed in a quiet craftsman style home. The smell of old hardback books and fresh linens waft through a creaky hallway. There are candy dishes and bibles about. Pictures of unknown children and grandchildren are on every desk and table…I am in Damascus, Virginia and I feel completely at home. It is quiet and still here. Juice, fruit and muffins await downstairs but the sound of rain is lulling me back into slumber. How did I get here?   After a long relaxing break in Hot Springs, the antsy hiker within me came back with a vengeance! I wanted to cross the Virginia state line…like something feirce! Determined to pick up the pace, I would soon cover over 195 miles in 6 days. Ahead lay tough climbs, steep descents, jungle-like forest, stormy mountain peaks, heavy rain and lots and lots of mud! Many slips and falls were had, days spent soaked and nights spent drying out in lofts of cozy shelters.With the help of some other big mileage  craving hikers, I found myself so tired  but so very inspired.   New faces flew into my life and familiar faces were found once again. The time warp of the forest had finally taken me by the hand. North Carolina and Tennessee said their goodbyes…And Virginia said hello…So, here I lay in the quaint town of Damascus, ready for this new state, a new challenge and all that may come along with it. I take this time to close my eyes and reflect. I can see, feel and hear so much…it is astounding to realize how so many experiences can happen in just one week! Here’s to the dreamlike field trips to Asheville… Wild blooms of rhododendron…Green rolling hills…Orange salamanders and black snakes…Water side lunch breaks… Goats and cows…Live music and lessons…Freaking awesome people… And…Let’s go get Virginia!!!


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