Our day started with a descent to a road and a very slow dripping spring for a water pick up, then a 1500 or so foot climb up to Chestnut knob. Brown got chased down by someone’s dog not on leash, he was pretty unimpressed. Even though we were up at 4400ft it was mostly socked in so not much to see. Our long descent down started through some open fields up top – they were a bit wet with the morning dew but still pretty even though the views were still mostly obscured. It was a bit of a roller-coaster day today but we made good time and had 14 miles done by lunch. Brown hiked this section of the trail 4 years ago with a 70lb pack – he said he remembers these climbs well and was absolutely dreading every one of them. But, we just kept at it and got the miles and climbing done. We ran into Tim-Tam (a couple we met on the way into Pearisburg when we saw that goat, they’re from Michigan and are section hiking for 2 weeks) getting water this morning, as lunch, and again at the end of the day at our campsite. We also ran into The Highwaymen at a private Pavilion on a road – they waved us over and offered us pop and homemade ice cream. They’d apparently made a good impression on the folks who were having their family reunion that day!
We got in 26 miles and my feet are barking! We’re camped a couple miles away from an interstate and the town of Atkins where we’re hoping to get breakfast from “The Barn” (a restaurant just off trail) even though tomorrow’s a holiday… Fingers crossed!