Day 32 on the Appalachian Trail

When I awoke, the eastern sky blazed red. The sunrise provided a spectacular start to the day. I ate my oatmeal breakfast in the warm shelter. Unlike all other shelters I've seen, this one has a door and is made of stone. I packed up and started hiking, wearing my long john top and bottom plus my hiking shirt and wind shirt and gloves. The elevation trace in the guidebook made this section of trail look easy, but many small ups and downs and rocks embedded in the trail slowed my pace. No rain, though. After 8 miles, the Appalachian Trail lost elevation to the Jenkins shelter where I ate lunch with three section hikers who had slept in the warm shelter. After my sumptuous lunch of crackers and almond butter, we all left.  600-foot climb brought me to a nearly level stretch of trail with fine tread. Easy walking. After 4.4 miles, the trail arrived at Laurel Creek, one of many Laurel Creeks I've crossed thus far. The attached photo shows the rocky creek bottom. I got water and climbed another 600 feet on a good trail. Then, another easy stretch of trail on an old road. I decided to camp along Kimberling Creek a mile north of US Hwy 52 crosses the AT and a half mile north of the spot where the AT crosses Interstate 77. Lots of hikers leave the AT to resupply in Bland, VA. My camp site along Kimberling Creek isn't all that scenic plus I can hear traffic on I-77, but I'm warm and dry inside my tent as rain falls. Another long but a not especially tiring day. Today's miles - 22.8. Total miles - 590.7.

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