Day 25 on the Appalachian Trail

Rain fell last night. I was dry and warm inside the shelter. When daylight arrived, the rain had ceased and fog enveloped the shelter. After eating my oatmeal, I got going. Oddly the trail wasn't that muddy in spite of last night's rain. Or, maybe I am getting better at keeping upright while walking on the edge of the trail. According to the guidebook, today's hike is supposed to be relatively easy with no big ups or downs.  After 7 miles, I got water and quickly arrived at the Iron Mountain shelter where I had a break. Then, on for 5 miles to a paved highway where the landscape changed dramatically from forest to cow pasture. I ate lunch under a tree, then walked past contented cows. Then, back in the forest. I decided to hike to the Abington shelter, which would make a long day. The easy hiking continued. At 17 miles on the day, I crossed another paved road and got water from a roadside spring. Over the last 6 miles of the day, my feet hurt, especially blisters on the outsides of my heels. Finally, I reached the shelter, situated in a flat patch of open forest. I took off my shoes and socks and breathed a sigh of relief. I set up my tent to celebrate the now sunny day. Dinner and conversation with other hikers. I felt grateful for the pleasant day and the company of other hikers. Today's miles - 22.7. Total miles - 458.6.

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