No great blinding lights on the eight miles to Damascus like Saul of Tarsus, but I did get my fill of ups and downs today. Striding down twenty-plus switchbacks leading down from the ridgeline, it struck me that -- since they would be going uphill where I am going down -- NOBOs expecting a "flat" trail experience in Virginia must be a little upset by climbs like this one.
A little later, a solidly muscled fellow in full AT thru hiker rig voiced that exact frustration as he dragged up another incline. I did not mention Apple Orchard Mountain, Hog Mountain, or The Priest. Not good karma to scare them off.
|Mom's Ice Cream|
I stumped into Damascus, and found an ice cream store waiting at the edge of town!
Eventually, I pulled my pack back on, promised my feet early relief, and walking into town. Many other hikers, of course, some like me with the desperate look of one who needs to drop pack qnd pull off boots. Other livelier one had already found a hostel with space for them in the crowded hostels.
About halfway down the main road, I was approached on the street by a woman of my age who introduced herself as Susie Montgomery and offered me a room in her hostel. I gratefully agreed, price unsaid, and no objection to her house rules prohibiting smoking, alcohol, and overnight company.
Pack down, damp and somewhat smelly clothes delivered to Ms. Montgomery for a courtesy laundry. Nap, shower, neck shave, nail trimming.
Blog updates, email, weather forecasts, news (good grief, somebody pull that guy's security clearance now).
Plans for next week ... back to Woods Hole, possibly.