Woke up with our alarm at 5:30, but saw it was very foggy and rainy so we decided to wait an hour to get up so we didn’t have to walk in the dark. During the next hour, the rain turned to snow. It was hard to put on our wet shoes and gloves and head out into the cold. Luckily the day started with an uphill, and with three layers of clothes we were able to warm up a bit.
We went through Grayson Highlands State Park this morning which is known for having wild ponies, but unfortunately we did not see any…very disappointed.
We were very surprised to see many day and weekend hikers out today when the weather was so cold. Especially after not seeing many people in the last week. We were told that the weather was not typical for this time of year.
We had planned to hike just over 23 miles today, which would have had us coming into the shelter after dark. With so many people out camping we were worried that the shelter would be full when we arrived, and the thought of staying in a warm motel room sounded good, so we decided to try to get into Damascus today and then slackpack the rest of the miles tomorrow. We were lucky enough to be offered a ride by a vacationing couple from NC. Given that it was about a 45 minute ride, we were very grateful.
Got into town, stopped by an outfitter to pick up a shipment which included our cold weather gear, bought a few extra things, checked into a B&B, and got some pizza for dinner.
There are two other southbounders staying here…Framework, whom we hadn’t seen for a few days, and Rorschach, whom we just met.
Daily Distance: 15.2
Trip Distance: 1,691.6