On The Trail Again
Mile: 469.2 - 486.1
Time: 9:40am - 7:50pm
Weather: partly cloudy, sunny at times. Nice
We left basecamp for what will probably be the last time. We have hiked too far north to have the luxury of returning to zero again. The only reason to drive that far off trail would be not a good reason. North we go back on the trail.
Bruce dropped us off at the Dollar General in Damascus where Larry our shuttle driver rescued us from the storm three days earlier. This little hiker town was bustling by the time we arrived at 9:30am. It was there annual community yard sale day and people were out in droves. Bruce left us to drive to the north end while we followed the white blazes through the one street town. It was a short mile walk especially without our heavy loads, we were slackpacking again. But with all the shops and yard sale venders it took us much longer than expected.
The hike out of Damascus was nice and easy as it followed close to the Creeper Trail. An old railway bed. There were lots of hikers and bikers out enjoying the weather. We had roughly 13 miles planned for the day. A long day considering we didn't get started until almost 10:00am.
After Bruce left us again on the north end of town he jumped ahead to the rendezvous point where we would stop for the night and camp. I planned this spot. I remembered seeing it on my 2015 hike. But what I didn't know is that area is closed overnight. So when we arrived we had to make alternate plans. Plan B is usually involves hiking on. And that's what we did. We ate our suppers, emptied even more gear from our already empty packs and hiked on 3 more miles to the next spot I definitely knew had camping. Our day ended at 8pm. It was long but wonderful.