We did 18.8 miles on Day 13, and it nearly killed me. The terrain was mostly flat, but it was pretty rocky and had a huge climb at the end of the day. My body isn’t used to having big days back to back yet, so I was really tired at the end of the day. With about a mile left to go in the hike, it started raining so we all threw down our packs and put on our rain covers. Fortunately, it didn’t rain that hard so my shoes didn’t get soaked.
We did get to see the original Washington Monument during the first couple miles of the hike which was super cool!
We got to camp around 5:30 and found out that we would have to walk an additional .6 miles down a steep, rocky hill to get water and then .6 back up. I took off my boots and rested for about 15 minutes before heading down in my flip flops. There was just no way I was putting my boots back on. As I walked down the hill, the sky got darker and darker. The moment I put my bottle in the stream, it started raining. Hard. I hurried and filtered about a liter of water and then ran back up the hill in the rain. I was soaking wet by the time I got back to camp, but at least it was wearing my flip flops and my hiking boots were still dry!
The shelter we stayed in was recently built, so it was still very nice. It had two floors! I slept pretty well and then woke up this morning around 6, put on my wet clothes and DRY boots and headed out.
The terrain today was still pretty rocky, and my body was tired even at the beginning of the day. About four miles in, I twisted my knee that had already been giving me trouble and fell down between some rocks. Fortunately, I was only a mile from a park where I sat down and rested. After about 30 minutes of debating whether I should hike on, stay in a hostel or just come home, I decided to book a room at a B&B in a nearby town and take the rest of the day off. I got a hitch to the B&B by three college students, which was wonderful. And when I got to the B&B, Spencer had ordered a pizza and Mr. Pibb to be delivered to me! That dude knows me.
Now I’m trying to decide whether to hike out tomorrow or take another day of rest. If my body allows, I’d like to hike on, but I realize that this may cut my hike short. Say some prayers that my knee heals up!! I can only imagine what it would feel like to summit Mt. Katahdin in Maine!
Original Washington Monument before DC had to one-up the Maryland-ers.