Returning to the AT after my break was incredible. While the change in elevation and rock scrambling proved to be difficult at times, it felt great to be making progress. However, I was quickly reminded to avoid pushing myself too far and too hard.

After three days, I opted to stay at Nature’s Inn Hostel from Sam’s Gap and slack pack the next two days up over Big Bald into Erwin. What I didn’t know was that my left knee had other plans.

What started off as a little discomfort ended up as some rather significant patellofemoral pain, which slowed me to a crawl.

I arrived at Uncle Johnny’s hostel on Monday afternoon. After some Google research with the assistance of YouTube videos, I was on my way to buy a knee strap.

Resting and restocking on Tuesday, another issue presented itself: weather. The forecast for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday was concerning. So, with the rain, snow, and winds, I’ve been holed up in the nice little town of Erwin, Tennessee, focusing on enjoying this journey. Without these zeros, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the likes of the Steel Rails Coffeehouse, Erwin Outfitters, and the Groovy Smoothie.

I’ve learned two very lessons this week. Listen to your body and slow down to enjoy the journey.

On to Roan Mountain, Hampton, and hopefully I’m enjoying Damascus by April 15!

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Comments 1

  • Hey Alaska : Apr 7th

    Been enjoying your blog. Weird coincidence tonight. An article in The Bradford Era popped up in my feed. Reading it, I realized it was about your hike! Hope your knee gets better soon. Take care of yourself so you can continue.


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