Mile 640.7 – Mile 737.5

Mile 649.7

I didn’t get started until 3pm in hopes to wait out the rain. Today I passed through so many beautiful fern fields.

Mile 664.8

Stretch popped my air mattress last night in an attempt to get a mouse. I do have a repair kit but the gash is really large.

The nights have been significantly cooler so the air mattress really helps keeping up and off the ground and staying warm.

Today was really tough. A lot of the trail today was rocks. Not just little rocks- very sharp, large rocks. It slowed down the hike for sure. I can’t tell if my hiking days are longer because of the dog or because of the terrain. I’m still trying to hike 15-17 miles a day but am stopping around 7pm each night whether I meet the goal or not. It’s just such a long day and has me really exhausted and emotional at the end of it.

Mile 679.6

I really think today’s climbs were the hardest yet. Or, at least up there with very tough. I usually try to not stop on the uphills until I’ve reached the top but today I definitely had to stop a few times.

Mountain laurel was everywhere today.

I also passed through a few pastures today. Those were beautiful. Minus for the ticks. They’re everywhere! I picked 3 off of myself and about 10 off of Stretch.

I’m only 33 miles from McAfee Knob! One of the most iconic views of the trail. I’m pretty excited about that.

Mile 691.6

Today was all about the trail magic that saved my ass. This afternoon, I was down to a ramen, a pasta side, some instant coffee grounds, and 4 dog treats. I absolutely didn’t have enough to get to Daleville (at mile 728) I was very stressed all morning trying to figure out what I was going to do.

When I was almost to the road, I saw chairs and heard laughter and started tearing up. A church group had set up and was giving out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and snacks and fruit and cookies and sodas. It was such a relief and I felt pretty overwhelmed. They let me take a bag to go too.

I had read many books before coming out here and all of them mentioned food and how important and exciting food was at each town. I really didn’t understand it and honestly found it a little annoying. Now, I really do understand. My body is burning calories constantly now. I’m usually hungry when I go to bed even if I have eaten two hours before. It’s craving food constantly and it doesn’t necessarily matter what it is. I’ll eat whatever and go out of my way to get it.

Speaking of going out of my way, there’s a gas station a half mile off trail tomorrow and I’m definitely walking there.

Today, I passed this sign. Pretty neato –

Mile 707.2

Today was a scary day. The past couple days in general have been super challenging for me. I have had to climb big rocks, descend on big rocks, and the summer heat is finally here.

To put it simply, I tripped going down Dragons Tooth which had me hanging upside down with my foot locked into the boulder above. It absolutely could have been a lot worse. I hit my head pretty hard and scraped my elbow.

I really felt like I could have been severely injured though. Which made me think if it was worth it or not. And it absolutely is.

Mile 718.4

Much better day today. Still insane climbing but I made it to McAfee Knob. What a beautiful view.

I had seen so many photos of this iconic spot. It was a little surreal.

It was a little different than I imagined – mainly because it was littered with day hikers. I had forgotten it was a Saturday. But I still got some shots!

I also couldn’t get over how awesome Tinker Mountain and Tinker Cliffs was. I’d love to come back and do this 15 mile section again. Maybe in Autumn or early spring.

Mile 727.5

I made it to Daleville! And I took my first shower in 8 days. My longest stink streak yet.

I ate at the BBQ place with Summer Camp and Speak Up. It was super tasty. Then I went to Kroger and grabbed some snacks and a 6 pack and hung around the pool with some other hikers. It was a pretty relaxing afternoon.

Tonight I’m going to order a pizza and watch movies. Ordering a pizza in town is usually a good call. I only eat a few slices and then pack the rest out and eat it for the next day or so.

Mile 737.5

This morning, I picked up my new shoes! I got 728 miles in these bad boys. And man, my new shoes feel so much better. I hadn’t realized how worn out they were. There wasn’t any support in the heel at all.

I made it exactly 10 miles today.

I didn’t leave until around noon today and man was it hot.

Stretch and I are at a campsite right near a stream. I have been trying to camp near streams as of late. Water hasn’t been plentiful. It’s nice to wash my feet and face after sweating balls all day.

End of Day 63.

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Comments 8

  • D : Jun 13th

    Shenandoah is coming (and so am I)!

    • Anna Zimmerman : Jun 13th

      Oh yeah! <3

  • Jaynn : Jun 13th

    Well damn. Don’t know you or anyone who knows you. Stumbled here from someone else’s AT blog and read everything and am compelled now to thank you for sharing this special journey with other readers. Feels a bit like spying on you as I read about your days, but also found myself in tears several times. Rock on, you are doing it! I look forward to continuing to read about the rest of your trip. I’m amazed by your strength, beauty and tenacity. Your words remind me what really matters in the big scheme of things. Thank you.

    • Anna Zimmerman : Jun 13th

      How kind of you! I’m glad you found me. Thank you so much for the support. And I hope you do keep reading. 🙂

  • Jaynn : Jun 14th

    I admit, too, that it was partly seeing pictures of your pup that made me choose YOUR blog to read, lol… ( I love love love dogs and have 8 (tiny) ones of my own, 2 of whom hike with me.) Lucky Stretch!!!

  • Rebecca tompkins : Jun 17th

    Wow Anna U rock. This post was hard to read. I felt a burden to pray for u mire. Lots of emotion in what u write. I am amazed by the courage and strength. God is doing a deep work in you. You were more than a conqueror in Christ. Walk on .❤❤❤

  • Kerry : Jun 20th

    Holy crap, those shoes! Also, those pictures are stunning. I’m glad you’re ok after your fall.

    • Anna Zimmerman : Jun 22nd

      Thanks for the compliment. ❤️


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