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While sitting up in my tent this morning, I see movement from the corner of my eye and look over to see a cute little bunny next to me. I wish I could have gotten a picture but the moment I slowly moved to grab my phone, it bolted. Cute little guy, though. Good start to the day. The pain in my left heel has reached a point that it is affecting my stride. I did some searching online and I definitely believe I’m dealing with Achilles tendinitis, considering where the pain is. I’m going to get some KT tape in Pearisburg so I can try taping it up and see if that helps. Today, I did put my calf compressions back on. I haven’t used them in over a week and I was honestly going to send them home. I think it actually helped today, considering I just walked a new record again. Didn’t plan to do that but I’ll get to that in a minute. I think I’ll keep wearing the calf compressions. I just like them.
Shortly after leaving camp at the falls, I see two older ladies and a really nice dog named Buddy (because he’s everyone’s buddy!) and that was it until about mile 17 when I passed an elderly couple. My plan was to get to some established camp sites about 18+ miles in so it only gave me about 8+ miles to get into Pearisburg. Before I get to that, there’s lunch. I’m so glad I took the side trail up to the ledge view near a communication tower. It was an amazing place to have lunch. I have videos of it posted on Instagram and I’m sure I’ll put some of it in the Relive video. While eating lunch, all of a sudden, two vulture looking birds took off from the cliffs below me and flew out into the distance. It was amazing! I had lunch and a show!
So like I said, barely saw anyone all day and then I get to where I wanted to camp. It’s supposed to hold about 4 tents. When I get there, I see about 8 tents crammed everywhere and what looks like a bunch of young locals having party time in the woods. Just my luck! I hate Friday and Saturdays on trail when you’re near a town. Ugh! Unfortunately, I’m in a dry section. The first half of my day had me stepping over streams and creeks every few minutes. The second half barely had a drip of water to be seen. I also couldn’t see any camp spots as I was now on a ridge with dead trees everywhere. So my planned 18.6 mile day turned into 21.7 official AT miles and 22.24 actual miles hiked today when you add in the side trips. That’s a new record, I believe. I am at mile 633.7 camped near a water source. I now only have less than 3 miles to reach the road that takes me into Pearisburg. Since my room won’t be ready early in the morning, I might as well sleep in.