Day 34 on the Appalachian Trail

Rain fell last night off and on, reinforcing my joy of sleeping in the dry shelter. My body heat plus the night air dried my damp down sleeping bag such that I felt warm all night. After a breakfast of Nutella and half a nut roll that Betsy sent, I started hiking. Orange Shirt soon overtook me, and we hiked together for 7 miles to Sugar Run Gap where he left the trail, his section hike over for the year.  I continued for two more miles to Docs Knob shelter where I had an early lunch with Deuces, a through hiker from Gunnison, Colorado.  After lunch, we hiked together for several miles as the sun appeared for the first time in several days. Deuces went ahead as I lagged behind. On top of a ridge, I found two hikers shown in the attached photo enjoying a view of the valley below.  From Angels Rest, a rock outcrop, the Appalachian Trail descended at a ridiculously steep rate. When the grade moderated, the trail turned into a muddy mess. I managed not to fall in the slop in spite of slipping and sliding frequently.  At the bottom of the hill, I turned right on a paved road and in a mile found Myers in Petersburg, Virginia at the Holiday Motor Lodge. The motel was full of hikers. Diatom and I arranged last night to share a room, which he had already checked into.  It was sweet relief to drop my pack, take off my mud-caked shoes, and take a shower. Then off to the Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet across the street for four platefuls of food. Then, food shopping at the Food Lion and back to the motel room to do laundry and organize our food.  It is great to be in town. Today's miles - 28.3. Total miles - 634.6.

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