Niday Shelter to Howard Johnson Express, Daleville, VA – 42.5 miles
I am hiking by 5:30 AM. I feel great. My pack is light and my legs are good! Rain is on and off. The sky looks like there may be a thunderstorm coming, but it holds off. The sun does come out later in the day.
The terrain is tough. I am glad I get up Dragon’s Tooth and down the descent before the rain. As soon as I descend, the rain comes. Dragon’s Tooth has some steep rock climbing with iron bars driven into the rock.
Due to thick clouds, there is absolutely zero visibility from the iconic McAfee Knob. I do take a few minutes to sit and eat while on the overlook. Later in the day, as the sun sets, the trail gets tougher. The rocky, boulder filled ridge line is difficult and slow by headlamp until the smooth descent into town.
Today is a successful, long, 42.5-mile push to the Howard Johnson Express in Daleville. I stop at a gas station before the hotel to get some ice cream and snacks. I pick up my mail drop at the hotel front desk and head to my room. I talk to Linds as I settle in. I’ll meet her Tuesday with a food resupply near Shenandoah National Park.
Unfortunately, it’s another late night before I get to bed.