AT Day 45 – My first 30 plus mile Day 


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30th May

31.3 miles

Marble Spring (777.2) to Bushcamp (808.6)

Last night I came to the horrible conclusion that I had my bounce box with my computer in it at the town of Waynesboro. I desperately needed to access some files on there to email back home. The problem is, Waynesboro is 85 miles away and it’s Tuesday. I need to spend most of the day on the computer so I really need to get there Thursday night. As the post office is not open on Saturday I need to make some miles today or slow right down and chill out. I decided to accept the challenge and try and throw down some big miles. Let’s hope my sore knee doesn’t mind.

I woke before the sun and started hiking at sunrise. The first couple of hours on trail were tranquil. Just me and the calls of the rising birds.

The first 7 miles or so was downhill to the large James River. There used to be a tradition, maybe it still happens, even though it illegal, to jump of the walkway bridge into the river. The is a bridge across the river just for hikers, how cool is that. I didn’t join mo off the bridge into the chocolate brown river that could have concealed a stray log or two.

My pace for the morning was crazy. I was passing hikers like I was a trail runner. By midday I’d hiked almost 16 miles. The sore knee was all but forgotten. Unconsciously I was favouring my left knee. I only realised this while climbing the sometimes steep climb out of James River. That’s when I caught up to Delicate Flower hiking the opposite direction. He was slack packing this section. I told him of my plan to hike fast into Waynesboro. He might join me, he is unsure.

I continued with the pace into the afternoon, getting slower and more tired with each passing hour. The long distances between water sources led to a miscalculation on my part and mild dehydration. A long rest and several litres of water cured my dilemma for the time being.

I continued sipping water and eating snacks often into the afternoon. My body was slowing down. I reached the 30 mile mark part way up a 2500 foot hill. There was no way I was going to reach the top. With 45 minutes till sunset I found a flat spot next to the trail. I was done. I ate and hydrated as best I could. I looked at my map, over 8000 feet of climbing today, that’s crazy. Now I’m unsure if I can continue with this pace.

I rather annoyed I can’t easily at captions to my  photos. Note the last photo is a screen shot of my guthook app that I use to navigate the trail. The penultimate photo is me in my tent rather exhausted.

Next : Day 46 – Dramatic Skies

All the best information on the Appalachian Trail:
Complete Guide to the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail Gear List
Appalachian Trail Gear Review

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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4 thoughts on “AT Day 45 – My first 30 plus mile Day ”

  1. Keep it up and remember Waynesboro has the best all you can eat chinese buffet( well it did in “14) on the trail. That might give you extra incentive!
    Also it was a very hiker friendly town so if you cant make it in time you might be able to get a trail angel to shuttle you in. Th


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