Day 31

Bryant Ridge Shelter to Punchbowl Shelter – 35.3 miles – “When I’m On, I’m On”

I wake when a mouse runs across my head at 4:55 AM. (I am kind of surprised by this incident because this shelter is a nicer one, but then, there are some crappy shelters where I haven’t had a problem with mice.)  I am hiking north 30 minutes later. 

I am rolling! It’s a hot, gorgeous day again, close to 90 degrees. I handle the heat better than yesterday. I cover 22.6 miles by 1:45 PM and 26.5 miles by 3 PM when I get to the next shelter. It’s definitely too early to stop, so I continue to the next shelter for 35.3 miles on the day. I arrive at 6:15 PM. I figure I better stop here. 

Mudderfingers and his girlfriend, Cool Story, tell me a trail angel named Fresh Grounds is providing trail magic, a full spread of food, at Hog Camp Gap, which is about 17 miles into tomorrow. This sounds great! Mudderfingers looks familiar and I realize I had randomly seen his gear videos on YouTube a while ago. These two have been out here since February! They are tenting, so it’s just me in the shelter tonight.

I feel great, but I need new shoes for sure.

   Entering Thunder Ridge Wilderness, Jefferson National Forest, VA

 The Guillotine. Mile 764.8

This is rare. 

 Leaving Thunder Ridge Wilderness, Jefferson National Forest, VA

 Entering James River Face Wilderness, Jefferson National Forest, VA

  James River 



  Leaving James River Face Wildernesses, Jefferson National Forest, VA 

 James River crossing. Mile 780.1 


  James River footbridge is the longest foot-use only bridge on AT 

 Mileage check: 1,403 to go 



  James River

  James River 

 James River  

 Little Ottie Cline Powell marker 




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