Thomas Knob Shelter is at an elevation of 5430 ft. It was windy and colder than it has been at night. It is the first night I kind of missed my sleeping quilt but I haven’t missed carrying the weight in my pack.
Dan slept well in his sleeping bag under his tarp. He woke up first and headed out 25 minutes before me because he wanted to hike the blue trail up to the summit of Mt Rogers. This added 1 mile to the daily mileage so I decided to sleep in and meet him at the trail head. He said it was a wooded summit with no view. So glad I didn’t add it to my day but Dan felt good about his decision to add it to his day.
Our day included plenty of climbing to get to Damascus. The trail was beautiful. The Mount Rogers ATC does a really good job with trail maintenance. Early afternoon the AT merged with the Virginia Creeper Trail for a couple miles here and there. It was fun seeing the families riding mountain bikes on the VC Trail. The rivers made me want to go fishing.
Dan did great on his first 28+ mile day of backpacking. That is a huge number of miles for someone that hasn’t been hiking almost everyday this summer. Typically only thru hikers are doing those kind of miles with a pack.
Once in Damascus, Wolf shuttled us to Dan’s car. We had a so-so dinner at Bobo’s. Then we got a couple rooms at the Old Mill for the night. This was a really cool hotel/restaurant that is in a remodeled old mill. It was good to get cleaned up and sleep in a bed.