Mayor Hikes the Pinhoti Trail Day 16

Day- 16
Date- February 29, 2020
Location- Davis Mountain Shelter
Elevation- 1,148 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 18 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 169.8 miles
Weather/Temp- Clear, 50s
Injuries- Scratches
Pain level- Zero
Spirits/Morale- Strong
Wildlife encounters- Owl
Days without shower- 3
Days without laundry- 5
Hunger/craving- Zero

Thoughts/Stories-

Happy Leap Year!

Damn, today was a great day! I really, really enjoyed today’s hiking.

We were out and moving by 7:20 am, and it was a gorgeous day! From the get-go we were tackling climbs and descents. Thankfully, the trail was clear and smooth for the most part.

Interval Breaks

The Little Dog and I worked out a system where I would set her down several times throughout the climbs – not stopping, but just to cut me some slack. We wouldn’t be going as fast when she was on the ground, but we were still moving. It felt like a break to me. She was cooperative and the miles ticked by.

Clarity

At 10 am we reached the next shelter and managed to catch the two guys from last night, before they hit the trail. I talked with them a bit more, and learned they were just doing an 18 mile section hike. They had never thru- hiked before. Not sure what our miscommunication was last night. They were friends from Birmingham and Atlanta, who got together almost every weekend to hike a small section of the Pinhoti.

Katana and I continued to push hard through the climbs but also began taking frequent breaks. I was blown away by how fast we were knocking down the miles! If you would have asked me last night, I probably would have said I wasn’t sure we would make our miles today. I really think it was our grinding up the climbs and cruising down the descents that made all the difference, despite the short stops.

Smelling the Roses

At 4 pm we had 1.5 miles to go with two hours of daylight left. I was dumbstruck by our fantastic timing today. I sat us down to watch the sun set for half an hour, before knocking out the last stretch.

The shelter is on top of Davis Mountain and has the best view of the setting sun I’ve seen on this entire trail. It’s funny, considering how amazing today felt… not a whole lot happened. We just did our thing and everything went smoothly. Katana is in her groove. I’m in my groove. We’re just enjoying time together out here.

Cruising

My feet are pretty sore, and we still have one last 19 mile push into the town of Cave Springs, Georgia tomorrow. That’s one of two things we have to look forward to tomorrow: crossing into Georgia and crossing the halfway point. In terms of time spent out here, many people would have already finished the trail or would be very close. We’re still just taking our sweet time and moving with the good weather.

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