Day 37: A.T. Hike Ends

I was tent camped near the Abingdon Gap Shelter last night.   I arrived just at dark to find a group of 20 something southbound thru-hikers there.   They got up at 5am and, like 20 something thru-hikers, they made no attempt to be quiet as they made breakfast.   So I did not sleep in even though I only had a 10 mile hike.  I crossed into Virginia after 7 miles and arrived in Damascus just before noon.

First up, a stop at Hey Joe’s for tacos.   Next I found my way to the Woodchuck Hostel.   This town has made big business out of hikers and bikers.  There are at least a dozen hostels and inns in town.   I moved up a notch from a bunkhouse and have a private room with a real bed and linens for $45.   It is a converted outbuilding, not fancy.  I passed on the teepee which was also available.

I am clean, in clean clothes and had a huge dinner.   My hike is over and I am feeling pretty darn good.  Weighed in here and have lost 29 pounds on this hike.  Still overweight, just not as badly.

I had two questions before this hike.  Could I still do long distance hiking and would I still enjoy it.   Yes and yes.  I will never have 20 year old legs and knees again but I can still plod along and make miles.    I also still love the trail life, though I miss my wife and dog.

I have some issues to work out at home but I think my PCT hike is on.

Woodchuck Hostel

My Room at Woodchuck
My wonderful family picks me up