Day 30 – home to Ash Gap

I woke up before the alarm at 4:30 and was on the road 20 minutes later. The route to Damascus took me down the mountain parkway onto KY 15 straight into VA. I rolled into the long term parking by the pool a few minutes after 10 and my shuttle driver was already waiting for me. I changed into my hiking shoes, loaded my pack and poles and we were off. A few hours later we arrived at Iron Mountain gap, where I had been not 48 hours before.

There was some trail magic and a few hikers I knew sitting and eating. I caught up with them as I got my pack adjusted, grabbed a granola bar (Thanks Emoji!!) and got back on trail a bit after noon.

I planned a relatively short day of just under 13 miles since I was starting so late, had been in a car for 7 hours (so a little stiff) and am still dealing with plantar fasciitis in my right heel. Although the terrain and climb were relatively easy, I felt slower. I’ve heard that hikers generally have “off” days after zeroes – maybe that was a bit of it, but the dull pain in my right heel was most of it.

I picked up a compression sleeve and some new insoles to try to combat it. The two together were actually too much so I stopped and took off the sleeve a couple miles in. I took a heroes dose of Advil (jk…just two) a few miles after that. About halfway through the day the pain died down.

I stopped to get some water a couple miles from camp. I’d only drank .75L all day so needed to hydrate a little more even though it was cool and I wasn’t sweating much. When I got my CNOC bag full and started to filter I noticed two small pinhole leaks in it. Something I’ll have to repair or replace in Damascus. It’ll work until then.

Despite all that happened today, I made camp a bit after 6. Even though I was feeling slow, I was right on my 2 mph pace. Camp is pretty full tonight since the shelter is another couple miles and 1,000 ft more of elevation. At 9 pm as I’m writing this it’s 41 here with 10-15 mph winds. Might chilly and even colder up at the shelter I’m sure.






One response to “Day 30 – home to Ash Gap”

  1. Michele Avatar

    That picture of the tree at the top is amazing. Nature’s art.

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