3 June 2017
AT – 421.2 miles
Today’s – 9.8 miles trail miles (13.8 total = +1 to town side trail, +1 from trail head to hostel, +2 to town gir resupply)
Time – 5 hrs
Speed – 1.96 mph (this looks fast but I WAS walking very slow)
It’s day 3 of the dreaded left shin pain! This really sucks…
After pushing as far as I could last night to the campsite 2 miles before the shelter, I found I had no more effort to give and my leg HURT! I ended up camping alongside some campers from the Netherlands — Stephanie and her father. Great company…they even started a fire whike I went looking for a good branch to hang of food from.
To start my decent toward Laurel Falls I ran into this small group from the 1st Presbyterian Church doing their annual cleanup at the trailhead. Awesome people to talk with. They even offered to run me to town and give me some pain killers. A BIG Thank You to these trail volunteers!
So this morning, the plan was to “Just Make it to Hampton” and take a ZERO tomorrow. However, it was a LONG trail day with only 10 miles before the 1+ mile cutoff trail to Hampton TN. However, the trail to Laurel Falls was anything BUT easy. Rock climbing, scrambling, rock stair, ups & downs…you name it, it was on this part of the trail.
With the leg pain…I didn’t really get to enjoy the sights. In fact, I wanted to swim in Laurel Falls, but I didn’t want to take the time for a real break. So, it was a “quick see the falls and move on” kind of day.
The falls were nice, but they are a hike from all directions to go see them. And not an easy hike from either direction.
So I was so happy happy happy with the US Forest Service member told me about a 0.7 mile cutoff on the blue blaze to town. I’ll take the less miles on a bad leg, oh yes I WILL!
However, it was still a Lonnnnnnnng blue blaze trail to town. AND THEN the road walk wasn’t any shorter.
After I secured my hostel room for the night at Braemer Castle Hostel, I then headed to town (another mile or so walk) to resupply at the Dollar General and go to MickyDs for a late lunch/early dinner. Two Quarter Pounders, fries, apple pie (free) and 2 fudge sundaes later and it was time to go back and ice my leg. Too bad the freezer is so tiny…the 10# bag of ice will go to waste.
The Castle is cool rock exterior building. The Brown’s live in part of it and have areas for a bunk house and private rooms. Since there is only two of us here, the bunk house is like a private room…and for $15/night a great price.
However, you check in at the Brown’s Grocery and Hardware Store on the main drag.
So now I sit and hope the leg situation resolves itself and rather quickly. If not, I may find myself locating a Doctor first thing Monday morning.
Here’s to a Zero and a Quick recovery.
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Rest is gonna be your friend with this and that’s probably not what you wanted to hear.