The Way To Damascus
We had an awesome Zero Day in Hot Springs. We had a ton of good food all the day. And yes, we eat very much these days ? we also did a resupply of food for the next stretch to Erwin. Should be around 4-5 days.
The first day after Hot Springs was amazing. We had beautiful weather. Sunshine all the day, but not too warm.
But the day after was horrible. There were rumors about possible thunderstorms going on. I checked the weather with my Garmin Satellite Device. It said maybe a bit of rain. So, we were not that worried about the weather and continued going on. In the evening we found a great little stealth camp spot near a water source. Perfect! As we setup our tents and cooked dinner the rain started to kick in. How can I describe that night. It was simply horrible. I didn’t sleep very much. The rain was coming down that hard. I never had such a rain in Germany. We saw the lightning through our tents. The thunder after the lightning was intense.
The next morning we had little spot without rain. We soon started eating breakfast and packed all our stuff including the wet tent. Just while packing our stuff it began raining again. About half of my stuff got wet. And we began to hike in the rain. After about 6 miles there was a little hostel just by the road. Nobody asked the other one for the hostel. We both just started walking there.
The two owners were very friendly. I had a beer and a pizza. We decided to stay for one night to dry our stuff. Just a couple of minutes later Poncho decided to take a shuttle to the next town and to quit hiking the Appalachian Trail. Wow! I was so sad about him leaving.
After Poncho left I didn’t feel about staying there for one night. My stuff got pretty dry at that time. That’s why I decided to go on.
On the next day the weather should finally turned around for the next few days. On the first day of hiking alone I was sad. I hadn’t any fun on this day.
The day after my mood started changing and I began to enjoy the trail once more. I had beautiful weather. Sunshine all the day. I just kept walking from 8am to 5pm every day. At about 5pm I’m always looking for a good water source to get full water supply. After that I just continue hiking until I find a good camp spot. Sometimes I have to walk two or three miles until I find a good spot. So, I never now when my hiking days will end.
I had to stop at a town called Erwin for doing a resupply because I ran out of food. Actually, Poncho and I decided to stay there for one night. But I didn’t feel like staying there. I wanted to push on to Damascus. I met some other hikers who were planning to stay there for one night. I just set my pack into their room and went to the grocery store. After I bought all the needed things I headed back out on the trail.
I just crossed the 400 mile mark at one day. I even can’t remember where exactly. But, there were some amazing stretches over the mountains with some amazing views down to the valleys.
At some spots you have to plan your daily stretches. Just as I was some miles before the Watauga Lake there was a restriction not to camp around the lake because of highly bear activity. I wasn’t able to do that many miles these days. I set up my tent quite early. Two days before Damascus I checked for possible options to stay at. I was getting very tired of walking between 18 and 22 miles a day. I found a couple who offer three different rooms of their house as B&B. 100$ a night. Pretty expensive, but I needed a nice place for relaxing. I booked the Virginia Suite for two days.
I reached Damascus in the morning. The Appalachian Trail goes just right through the middle of the city. Perfect. No shuttle, no hitchhiking. The house and the room were simply amazing. Also a really nice backyard. The perfect place to relax one day.