Mile 1747.6 (TN): May 3, Virginia-Tennessee Border to Iron Mountain Shelter

We got started this morning at 7:15 and both felt good. We cruised along in nice weather—partly cloudy and cool. But by mid morning Ryan’s heel was hurting again. So we slowed down a bit and took a few extra breaks to rest. 

On the way we met Nav and her adorable Shelty dog called Arrow.

Despite slowing down we still made good time and reached Double Spring Shelter by 4pm. But we would still need to go a few more miles tonight in order to make it to Boots Off Hostel tomorrow evening. And, complicating matters, I had misread the miles so there were a few more than we planned to the hostel. It would normally been a minor problem except that Ryan’s foot needed more rest—and we only had a certain amount of food.

In the end we decided it best for me to continue on tonight for a few more miles; then go all the way to the hostel tomorrow. Ryan would hike down a few miles to the next road crossing tomorrow. Then I would drive Ryan’s car back to pick him up. 

I left Ryan at the shelter and continued on. I had enough daylight and energy to reach the next shelter. It was supposed to rain tonight. I considered staying inside the shelter if it wasn’t crowded. But when I arrived it was already pretty full. So I set the hammock up and grabbed a bite to eat with the others at the shelter. The rain started as we were eating dinner. Once it slowed down I left the shelter, hung up my food bag on a high tree limb, and crawled into the hammock for the night. I had 16 miles to the hostel tomorrow and hoped for a good night’s rest…

And here are some of the other interesting things we saw on the trail today. 

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