Day 23 on the Appalachian Trail

During the night, a thunderstorm rolled in and stayed, pelting my tent with rain. When I awoke, the rain continued unabated. I packed up and walked to the home of the hostel owners. I drank coffee in their warm home waiting for breakfast while the rain fell. Breakfast exceeded my lofty expectations with French toast, sausage, biscuits and gravy, quiche, several other egg dishes, and coffee. After I couldn't eat any more, I shouldered my pack and walked along US Highway 19A back to the Appalachian Trail in the rain. The trail was a muddy mess. In spite of my careful attention, I slipped and fell four times on slick spots. Going was slow. The highlight of the morning was Mountaineer Falls, as shorn in the photo. About noon I arrived at the Mountain shelter and ate lunch with five women as the rain stopped. After lunch, I continued slogging along as the trail dried a little. The skies lightened and the sun peeked through the cloud a few times. At about 5:30pm, I reached the Moreland Gap shelter and ate a spaghetti dinner. Soul Flower did likewise. After dinner, we hiked on with our destination being a campsite with a piped spring 2.3 miles away. Along the way, we passed by burned areas along a ridge. At last, I reached the campsite and dropped my pack. Soul Flower continued on. I got water from a spring and set up my tent. Four other hikers arrived and stayed for the night. A whippoorwill sang me to sleep. Today's miles - 20.7. Total miles - 413.8.

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