I got home just in time for Mary's family reunion. She picked me up at Glasgow, VA 94 days after I started at Rock Gap, NC - 672 miles away.
If that sounds like a long time to go that distance, it was. I rolled my ankle 3 hrs into this hike, and that slowed me down for a long time - An average of 7 miles per day when I should have averaged around 12. It's a bit ironic that after limping for several hundred miles, I was finally hiking strong and banging out some relatively big 15-18 mile days just as it was time to go home.
This was my third section of the Appalachian Trail. Last spring I started a thru hike attempt at Springer Mountain, and made it 106 miles to Rock Gap, NC before a bursitis in my knee sent me home. I got that fixed and started south from Katahdin, Maine later last summer. Made it 538 miles to Manchester Center where I found I had a Hernia that needed to be repaired. I did the math and I've done 1316 miles out of 2184. That's 60% with 868 miles to go.
If at this point you're about to suggest that I can't seem to hike without injury, well, you wouldn't be the first. In my defense I did go home on my own volition this time!
In the next few weeks, I'll backfill some details of the hike, post some pics, and we'll discuss my gear choices. (Spoiler alert - I picked up a hammock at Trail Days).