1: TN 91 to virginia creeper tentsite

I left Augusta friday just ecstatic. I love my new position at work. It’s going to be a good stretch for me, I think. 
I got to TN 91 about 10:30. I’d said I would never again sleep in my car, but it was pouring rain when I got to the parking lot, so I stretched out in the driver’s seat this time. I figured it had to be an improvement over the backseat, right?

Well it probably would have been, except you know how much mice love my car. One came in and started messing around and I couldn’t let it go. I had an Otis moment and slept very little. 

I woke up at first light and started walking. Headed north from TN 91 meant I walked through Osbourne Farm. The fields were wet with rain and low and heavy fog. 

I made a friend. 

15 miles to Damascus!

It rained and rained and rained. Fortunately, my bike riding friend Catherine had mailed me some chamois butter from Texas to try out. I still got some trench foot but blisters seem to be minimized. 

I stopped for lunch in this abandoned mini shelter. 

And some yoga. 

Someone left an entire bag of trash. I packed it out.  

I sprayed deet in my eye. This is me checking for eye damage. I had no water to flush my eyes with. There really weren’t a lot of convenient water sources. 

So, I mentioned last trip that this section would see me hit 3 major milestones. Well, here’s the first one:

I’ve officially completed Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee now! That’s 3 states down! I mean, a ton more to go, and Virginia is 550 miles of trail or something ridiculous, but still! 

I made it in to Damascus, texting Carpenter the whole last few miles. I stopped in to Mt Rogers Outfitters to nose around and learned that there are still American Chestnut trees in this area, and I learned that I’m headed up into an area with Pitch Pines. The dude taught me how to identify them, so that will be a fun activity. 

I went over to Bobos for dinner and GORGED. 

While heading out of town, though, it started pouring. A guy sitting on the porch of Hikers Inn called me over to join him to get out of the rain, so I did. I had plenty of daylight to get somewhere. We started chatting, and eventually the rain let up. His name is Justin and he got separated from his friends when he got sick. He asked if I wanted to camp with him at this cool site on the Virginia creeper trail and I figured…sure, why not? So I’m a mile or so from the AT and that’s ok. I’ll have time to make up the miles tomorrow. For now, I have a full belly and Justin made a great fire despite the rain. I haven’t had time to enjoy camp like this in a long time. And I haven’t had a successful campfire in a VERY long time. 

So the adventure has already begun! I know I didn’t post an Itinerary. I’m going to keep this one a surprise for y’all. (Don’t worry, mom and carpenter both know where I’m generally supposed to be and when.)

I can tell this is going to be a good one. 
MVP: campfire sitting

LVP: car mouse

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