I go off to a good start this morning, and made good progress through Wytheville and back into the countyside. From there it got really hilly – the kind of terrain that stops you gaining any momentum, and drains your energy.
I steadily climbed up towards Troutdale, topping out around 3000 feet. I had lunch there, and a cold drink felt really good after a full mornings climb! From there I polished off the last real climb of the day, and decended down to Damascus where I am staying the night. The decent awsome – i got up to 56mph (a new top speed) and averaged about 40mph. Despite this i must have been decending for abou 20 minutes!
It was another hot day today, which really takes it out of you when your doing a lot of climbing – although i suppose it’s better than rain! I was harrased by a couple more dogs today, but haven’t had to use my pepper spray yet -‘some of them just come out from nowhere and you don’t have much time to react – you just have to sprint away madly.
Despite going through ‘Mt Rogers National Recreation Area’ today (a reserve for outdoor activities) I still haven’t found a single open campsite – a lot of them just have ‘closed for the season’ signs nailed to the entrance. I saw a lot of Appalacian Trail hikers today: the Appalacian Trail stretches 2,144 miles from Georgia to Maine!
I was finished today by 16.30, and have kindly been given a free bunk for the night by a woman who runs an inn for hikers. It felt particuarly good to have a shower and relax after the climbs I did today. I’m begining to see how Virginia can claim to have the most climbing of any state on the route.