It was cool enough for my sleeping bag and I cannot express how wonderful it was to sleep comfortably. This morning was damp and our sleeping bags and clothes were cool and wet. Seth and I left around 7:30 with Josh and Claudia right behind us. It was another gorgeous morning but my body was sluggish and tired. I felt so strong yesterday and today I felt completely opposite...my legs were tired and I was uncomfortable. I thought it would improve after a convenience store breakfast stop but unfortunately the fatigue lasted all day.
The terrain itself was easier than yesterday but still full of ups and downs. We pushed the 40 miles to Christiansburg to meet my family for lunch, and the whole gang enjoyed a pizza buffet at the Pizza Inn. I said goodbye to my parents and we continued 30 more miles to our destination of Catawba. I cannot describe how much it warms my heart to ride through the Appalachian mountains, among these forests and gentle peaks.
Catawba is an Appalachian Trail town and Seth and I both stayed at Four Pines Hostel on our thru-hikes. We rode the 3 miles off route to stay here tonight and it is almost just as I remember...although Joe, the owner, says his cats were eaten by coyotes so he "had to get new ones". The hostel is simply couches and cots in his garage but it has everything we need. It brings back great memories to be here.
Claudia cooked pasta for dinner and she, Seth, Josh, Josh's parents, and I ate at a table here in the garage and drank beer and wine from mugs that we found sitting on one of the shelves. It has been a true "trail" experience!