Day 26 on the Appalachian Trail

I was up early and on the trail for the easy 11-mile walk to Damascus. When I arrived at about 11am, I left the solitary forest and entered Trail Days, an annual three- day extravaganza celebrating the Appalachian Trail. Thousands of people jammed the otherwise small town in a carnival atmosphere. I visited the Zpacks booth to checkout a tent then bought a pizza. Delicious! I got my food box at Mt. Rogers Outfitters then organized my food. Then I called Betsy and Riley to check in. I ate a pint of ice cream, then found a spot to camp in the yard of an older lady. At 2 pm, I watched the Hiker Parade. The photo shows the 2016 hiker contingent. After a nap in my tent, I realized that I was camped next to a music venue. I walked down the Main Street and found quieter quarters at The Place, a house and grassy lot owned by the adjacent Methodist Church. After moving my camp, I walked to a local eatery for a hamburger and beer. I ate with two former AT hikers who attend Trail Days every year. They kindly bought my meal. Back to The Place for bed time. I had a glorious day. Today's miles- 10.9. Total miles - 469.5.

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