Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 35 (32 miles)
Another slack packing adventure, with a bit more adventure… Day 35 was another step up in both length and difficulty, with 3 climbs from the valley floor. I was also going sobo so we could pick up some ‘best donuts on trail’ for breakfast.
It was an awesome climb up and first ridge. The ridge was exposed 45 degree rock that I had to pay attention to footholds while I was running. It also offered great views down into the valley.
I was flying along and having a great time. I think that I will get into trail running after I finish this hiking season and am back into normal life and work.
I did trip once when my back foot court the top of a rock. It banged me up a bit, and left me with a scraped and bruised knee and a slight strain in my quad. I was a bit worried it would affect my day but after 30 minutes it reverted back into nothing.
I continued on and descended off the mountain into farmland. I have to say that I like these sections for both the open landscape and the derelict barns that I have seen. I love looking at the half fallen down barns.
About 18 miles in I started to get some chaffing. I did not have my balm in my daypack and this turned out to be the theme for the rest of the day in three stages.
Stage 1: a little pain but was able to move freely.
Stage 2: the pain was high while running and I started walking from then on.
Stage 3: the last 6 miles was painful just walking along. I also slowed to what felt like a crawl. I was basically stumbling along holding my cheeks apart. I also found it unnecessarily hard going over rocky terrain for both the extra movement that my skin did not like and the decreased balance from having one hand preoccupied.
I was rather happy to get back to the van and, after dinner, into bed.