Day 48 on the Appalachian Trail

Last night I arranged with trail angel Bob to pick me up at the Quality Inn this morning at 7am. I got up at 6:15am, finished my packing, and walked to the motel office for breakfast. Two plates of scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, a waffle, two cups of yoghurt, and two cups of coffee. Bob picked me up and drove me 4 miles to the Appalachian Trail. Bob mentioned that rain was forecast for the morning. I entered Shenandoah National Park and headed uphill for 5 miles to a cluster of communication towers. On the way, I walked through former pastures now populated with shrubs and weedy plants. I got water at a spring at mile 8.3 on the day. The rain held off and the sun came out for a while. On drier, rockier slopes, mountain laurel shrubs frequently bloomed line the trail. The attached photo shows the detail of mountain laurel flowers. I met an older couple out for a mountain laurel hike. The trail offered moderate ups and downs today. Hiking wasn't especially demanding. As usual, the last few miles seemed to take too long. But at last, I reached the side trail to the shelter and descended 0.2 miles. I got a spot in the shelter along with a group of Warrior Hikers, folks who served in combat in the military. Dinner, a wipe-down, and journal writing followed. Today's miles - 20.7. Total miles - 882.0.

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