Mile 309.4, Elevation 2,938 feet
Got a good night's sleep in the Jerry Cabin Shelter. Since the plan was to hike to Erwin and go to Damascus for Trail Days, I was talking to an English woman about sharing a shuttle or hitchhiking. We agreed to join together to get to Damascus.
A 15 mile hike to the Hogback Ridge Shelter was planned, so I was off a little after 8 AM. The trail was pretty easy, so I put some speed on in the hope of getting to the shelter early. The Flint Mountain Shelter (mile 306.4) was reached at noon where I stopped for a break and a snack. Continuing on, I kept up a fast pace. That was a mistake. I re-injured my ankle. It happened just before Devil Fork Gap.
Devil Fork Gap
My ankle became extremely painful, and I limped to Rector Laurel Road (mile 309.4). Just as I came on to the road, a car from Hikers Paradise Hostel dropped off some hikers, so I jumped in with the intent of spending the night trying to get better.
I had a pleasant surprise when I arrived at the hostel. The couple I had met at the Wolfpen Gap Country Store were there. It was a nice reunion as we compared notes. They asked about my original partner, Bobby McCabe, and I told them I had not seen him since Gooder Grove Hostel. There were other hikers at the hostel who I hadn't seen in awhile, so I was glad I stopped there.
While at the hostel, the conversation turned to two hikers who had skipped out on their tab. They stayed a night and got provisions from the limited stores available at the hostel. The owner was really bummed out because they owed him over $50.
While at the hostel, I soaked my ankle in an ice cold mountain stream to get the swelling down. I also rinsed off my tent and let it dry, and had my clothes washed of all the mud on them. All is right with the world. It's back to the trail Sunday.