The road to Damascus

Day 60

Double Spring Shelter to Damascus 18.5 miles – AT mile 471

Card of the day – XXI The World

I’ve been out here for 2 months now, a fact marked by burning some incense last night at the Dark Moon.  It’s almost fitting that today would be my road to Damascus.

I was up with the birds at 6.10.  This seems to becoming habit.

Last night it sounded like there was an angry bird right outside my tent that I thought wanted to kill me!  It’s amazing what will go through your mind as you just lay there in the middle of nowhere.

Again it’s misty out but not cold.  The weather is due to be fairly crap for the next week or so.

I’m dreading the 18 miles today, but the incline looks ok and it’s a good downhill to town.  But then as we know, the app often lies to us.

I’m so glad I’m not stupid enough to do the marathon, there is a tradition of walking the 26 miles from iron mountain shelter into town in one day.  I don’t think I’m ready to hike that far in one day.  I can’t quite remember but I think my longest day ever was 36km which is 22 miles on the Camino Portuguese.

Either way, I was out by 7.40, which must also be a record for me, but was still a little later than I would have liked, I just can’t seem to have breakfast and pack up any quicker!

By 11.20 I made it to a shelter where I planned to take a break.  The hiking had not been hard, but was also by no means flat and the walk to water was 0.3 down a steep slope.  And then rain came.

At 1.30pm I finally said goodbye to Tennessee and made it into Virginia.  I was oddly uplifted by this and was looking forward to the highlights that this state has up its sleeves for me.

The first person I saw on trail welcomed me to Damascus.

I really got thinking today about why I’m here and how I’m going to get to the end and if I really want to.  Should I go to trail days?  Should I go home?  What’s the point and why?

I still don’t really have the answer.  It almost feels like I’m here for a reason that I don’t understand and maybe I need to focus on me for a while.  I need to make this my hike.

My road to Damascus has left me with more questions than answers.

I’ve been in this head space for too long now.  I really need to just get on with it, enjoy the journey and stop worrying about it.  I need to make my hike about me.  What I do know for sure is that I’m done with 18 mile days over massive hills, I’m just going to chill out and enjoy the ride.

What is life if not for living?

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • Katy : May 10th

    I read, “The hills in this section [Virigina] are rolling and mellow. That’s not to say they are not difficult at times; it’s just not as challenging as more mountainous sections in other US states.” So it’s a good time to be done with 18 miles up and down steep hills.
    It sounds rather nice. Plus we will need photos of Dragon’s Tooth coz… well, dragons!

    • Craigen “Cool Breeze” Smith : May 10th

      Well yes, dragons. And I much prefer your version!


What Do You Think?