Gimme Shelter

This is all that I’ve received to date. Will likely be a few weeks until our next update. Currently traveling through southeastern Virginia, closing in on Shenandoah National Park.

From Elaine: Jack and I had a wonderful visit in Damascus, Virginia. He is heading on up the trail, but I won’t see him for about 3 weeks – somewhere above Roanoke, Virginia. I’ll send emails then.

March 28, 2008 Walnut Mountain Road to Dennis Cove Road (13.6 Miles)
The day was overcast and breezy but the rain held off until I had finished the hike. An old log barn was near the trail toward the end of the hike. I made a photo (below). Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, so it should be a good hiking day.

March 29, 2008 Dennis cove Road to Iron Mountain Gap, Watauga Dam Road (13.1 miles)
The rain continued until 11am today, a soggy morning. I saw and photographed a beautiful water fall (Laurel Falls, photo below) which had treacherous stone steps leading to it. By the time I reached Watauga Lake, the rain had stopped but a cold wind was picking up. Tomorrow is predicted to be rainy and cold (low 30’s) so I’m going to take a rest day. Elaine is meeting me in Damascus, VA later this week.

March 31, 2008 Iron Mountain Gap (Watauga Dam Road) to Double Springs Shelter (18.8 miles)
After resting yesterday, my legs felt stronger today. I had breakfast with thru-hikers Launch Pad and Night Terror. They are young men who left Springer Mtn. on 3/1/08. They are moving fast! Also met a young couple (trail names Green Blaze and Rose) who are UGA graduates. Today began with rain, but cleared by noon. The first 3-4 miles were a tough climb, but then the ups and down became more gentle. Tonight I’m in a shelter with Heavenbound, a German Christian whom I’ve enjoyed. It’s beginning to rain again so I’m glad to be warm and dry in the shelter. I plan to hike on into Virginia tomorrow.

April 1, 2008 Double Springs Shelter to Damascus, VA (18.3 miles)
Rain was expected today, but the clouds cleared by 11am. I had lunch with Heavenbound on the trail. He’s amazing – at age 73 he’s spending 6 weeks on the A.T. The trail followed a ridge line today with lots of ups and downs. My legs were tired at day’s end. Tonight I’m at Apple Tree Bed and Breakfast in Damascus. Elaine will be here tomorrow. Damascus is a significant spot for thru-hikers. The town is hiker-friendly and celebrates AT hiking with “Trail Days” in mid-May. It is also the first town in Virginia with 3 states (GA, TN, and NC) completed. I have now hiked almost 460 miles of the AT. I want to continue. Please continue to pray for my health, safety, strength, and perseverance.


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