We made it back to Damascus. . . Again! This time we have the extreme pleasure of staying with Fidget and Mammy, 2012 thru hikers who live in town. They are some more of the most amazing AT people you would ever want to meet. We woke up early the next morning to do a big day of 21.4 miles northbound back into Damascus. The trail is beautiful down here, it’s all mostly flat or downhill in this section although covered in leaves. Dry leaves are fun to crunch your feet through, not so much fun when you can’t see what is underneath them! Buddy has developed cat like reflexes after months on the trail and doesn’t bat an eye when his foot slips from what he though was a flat spot, he just hops onto the other foot and keeps on going. Poor Dion doesn’t have 5 year old resilient feet! They finished the big day around 5 and we went out to eat at the Blue Blaze Cafe with Fidget and Mammy. There is nothing better than curling up in a warm bed and snuggling after a long day on the trail, so that’s what we did. We were all fast asleep in no time. We woke up around 7 as usual with silly faces and jumping on the bed, then headed downstairs for Funfetti pancakes! After checking and rechecking the weather, we decided that we would take the day off. The forecast is calling for rain and snow all day and after nearly 40 miles in two days, they deserve a day off. We spent the morning at Moejos coffee house, went to Country Kitchen for lunch and plan on spending most of the rest of the day at Buddy’s favorite place, the library. We are resting up today and then will head back out to the trail tomorrow!
After another late start at 12:30 we decided to head down to Wilbur Dam Road and do 12 miles south to Dennis Cove Road. I’ve been hearing that the weather is going to warm up over the next week, but not tonight. The forecast is calling for temps to drop down in the low teen’s so I decided while the boys were hiking that I would go check out the Kincora Hostel that’s right down the road. Upon arriving I was met by the infamous Baltimore Jack. We’ve heard many stories of his greatness, but never met the man himself. What a big teddy bear of a man! He said he has heard about Buddy and was excited to meet him. I was excited to see that they not only had water pipes that weren’t frozen, but also a large wood burning stove! Done! This is where we will lest our heads tonight. When Buddy and Dion came out of the darkness with their headlights illuminating the way they filled me in on their chilly day. When I asked Buddy how is day was I was half expecting our fantastic son who honest to God never complains, to say that it was cold or too long, but in true Buddy fashion he said, “It was great! I was warm with my hat and gloves on and we got to night hike!” He absolutely loves navigating the trail in the dark with his headlamp. We all headed into the Jeep and up the road to Kincora to throw more wood on the fire and bundle up for the night.
We are doing another 14 mile section from Walnut Mountain road north to Dennis Cove Road today so that we can stay at Kincora again tonight. The weather is fantastic today, warm and sunny just the way we like it. There is a thin layer of snow on the trial right now but is slowly melting. Dion carries several toe warmer packs in his backpack so should their short get completely saturated, at least they are warm. We will head back up north tomorrow and do a 16 mile section we missed from Wilbur Damn Road north to 91, Shady Valley then head back into Damascus tomorrow night. We finished the flyer for our fundraiser dinner which will be on Saturday at One Way Ministry. We are also putting together a two hour long video that will run during the dinner with Q&A with Buddy, video’s and photos from our trip. Hope you all can make it out!