Damascus, VA to Atkins, VA.
Damascus, VA was a nice little trail town, my camera died right before I got into town, so unfortunately I do not have any photos of Damascus. A replacement camera was overnighted to me during my stay. I got back on the trail mid day with Hips, Emilyn and Chameleon. Hiked about 6 miles to a campsite near Laurel Creek.
It was raining on and off, I hiked about 11 miles, then got feed up with the weather and aching blisters, so I set up camp early at the base of Whitetop Mountain.
Woke up and hiked up Whitetop Mountain, it was raining off and on again all day.In the afternoon I entered my favorite region so far on the trail called the Grayson Highlands. Stopped for the night at Wise Shelter which is the 500 mile mark on the Appalachian Trail.
Hiked 10 miles to Hurricane Shelter and chilled there to wait out the rain. Subway arrived there and was planning to night hike 19 miles to Partnership Shelter. I decided to join him, so I napped briefly and we hit the trail around 2am, making good progress at night by averaging around 3 miles per hour. We arrived at Partnership Shelter in the morning, I lounged there all day and ordered delivery pizza from the Mount Rogers Visitor Center next door.
Woke up and since I planned on taking a few zero days, I said goodbye to my friend Hips who is getting off the trail in a week for grad school. I will not be able to catch up to her after taking 4 days off and I will definitely miss her company out there. I Hiked 14 miles into Atkins, VA and split a room at Relax Inn for the night with Cool Pants. The next day I went back into NC for the weekend to visit my parents.