My first day’s hike after my slack pack section took me around Watauga Lake. At first I was at ground level, but later the trail began to climb. I could still see the lake for most of the day, but from greater heights.
More and more of the woods are coming alive with new growth. It’s beautiful to watch.
It took me 2 1/2 days to get to Damascus. Damascus is a ‘trail town’ which means it is ‘Hiker friendly’. There is also an annual festival called Trail Days which is dedicated to all things ‘hiking’. It happens next weekend.
The reason I was eager to get to Damascus, is that it is the beginning of a new state-VIRGINIA!
I did two 15.9 mile days, and then a short 10 miles into Damascus. On my second night in the the woods, the pull to the zipper of the rain fly of my tent detached from the fabric as I was setting it up!
(Yes, I know my hands are filthy!)
There are a few Velcro strips on the fly to close it for privacy, but not much help to keep rain out with the zipper broken.
I remembered that I had a sheet of plastic that I got out of a hiker box which I draped from the poles on the inside. Thankfully, it only sprinkled that evening and the plastic kept the sprinkles out of my tent.
I got up early, eager to get to town, and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise while I ate breakfast in my tent.
Before I took these pictures, and while it was still dark, there was an orange glow that made the mountains look like they were on fire.
I also noticed that it was ‘tent city’ by the shelter. I had set my tent down from the shelter to avoid the noise.
I was hiking by 6:46. I wanted to get into town, and I was eager to enter a new state!