Day 49 (May 9th) – 14.4 miles. Hard start, waited for rain to let up before taking down tent. Thought it would rain all day, but it did not! We made it through the 4-mile “high bear activity area,” and didn’t even see a bear. Hard and steady uphill hike today (not sure how we would have done it in the rain), but we were rewarded with a nice, private tent site tonight!
Day 50 (May 10th) – 18 miles!!! Longest day yet. Walked through a beautiful meadow, and had lunch under a tree. Great weather, sunny with a cool wind. Every part of my body hurt today (well, almost all), was hard day for me. Short(er) day into Damascus tomorrow, trail goes right through town. 
Day 51 (May 11th) – 13.1 miles from Double Spring Gap Campsite (which had no Springs at whatsoever) to Damascus, VA! We are in our 4th state now, 3 are done and just 11 more to go. Damascus is “trail town USA,” the trail goes right through town and it is very trail friendly. We are at Woodchuck’s Hostel, just showered and about to go to post office and get something to eat!  

Day 52 (May 12th) – zero day/zero miles. Rained all day and we took the day off in Damascus. Chica got some new insoles for her trail runners, we sent our winter clothes home, we ate and hung with fellow hikers Mystic, Kestrel Chick, Deep Waters, Lost, and ran into Easy Going, Sushi Roll & Roar. Greg got his pack weight down to 24.5, mine is still 26. Woodchucks is a nice Hostel, good breakfast (waffles, potatoes, eggs, cereal, coffee and juice). Oh, we weighed ourselves and I’m down 16 pounds, Sunsets 36!

Day 53 (May 13th) – 17.2 miles Damascus to Campsite at mile 486.3. Good day, felt pretty good. Rain stopped this morning. Greg is coughing and coming down with a cold. Chica’s new insoles appear to be working well today and also her knee “sock.” We’re enjoying some Mountain House meals tonight – yum!!

Day 54 (May 14th) – 9.0 miles to Deep Gap. Greg continues to not feel well with a cold, coughing/sore throat, so we cut our hike short today so he could rest (I made him some lemon/ginger ☕️ tea). Hike was hard today – rocks, roots, and mud! Tomorrow – wild ponies!

Day 55 (May 15th) – 11.0 miles Deep Gap to stealth campsite. We hit 500 miles today! We saw the wild ponies today in Grayson Highlands! Greg was feeling much better, but still not great. The hike today was hard – lots of boulders, roots, rocks, mud and steam crossings. 

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