Thursday, July 27, 2006

Day 68: 79 miles, Jul 25

This was perhaps one of the more difficult days of the trip. The terrain is now quite hard with frequent steep climbs, and I have also lost the companionship of that large group (they stayed in Breaks for a day off today). The toughest climb, from Rosedale to Hayters Gap, was towards the end of the day when calories are running low, and I now believe I experienced my first "bonk" just afterwards.

The climb itself I did just fine, actually. The descent was very fun -- lots of curves and switchbacks. However, about 45 minutes later I got dizzy. I figured I was bonking and pulled over in a shady area to eat some granola bars and drink water. Fortunately, I was only 15 minutes from my destination, and the 30 minute break was enough to set me aright. Lesson learned: eat before you're hungry!

The destination was the best part of the day. Damascus, VA is the southern Mecca for thru-hikers of the Appalachian Trail. I came through the town on my thru-hike seven years ago, so it was very nostalgic to arrive again by bicycle! I stayed at the obligatory hostel run by the Methodist church called simply "The Place."


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