Mile 543.8 Elevation 2,420 feet.
I flew into Roanoke, VA the previous day, May 4th, and had a 110 mile shuttle ride down to Marion, VA, which is where I ended my hike of the Appalachian Trail last October. I was concerned that a large "bubble" of hikers would have made their way this far north on the trail. My intention was to stay at the Partnership Shelter, but if it was full that would present a problem since no tent camping is permitted. As luck would have it, there was plenty of room at the shelter, so I settled in.
Staying in a shelter is sometimes a necessary evil. Rain was expected and I was glad to have a spot on the second level. The "evil" part presented itself later when everyone climbed into their sleeping bags for the night. That's when I was treated to stereo snorers. The two guys sounded like freight trains.
It did rain that night, but the next morning the sun was actually out. After a quick beakfast, I hit the trail at 8:00 AM. Although there were numerous ups and downs to the trail, I made good time. Of course that's relative since I'm slow. I had several hikers pass me in the late morning. The first was Mary Poppins and her dog. I was taking a picture and enjoying the view when she and her dog zipped by. Later Piper and Sir Poopsalot passed me. I love the latter's trail name. I caught up to both of them as they broke for lunch at a shelter later. Sure enough, Sir Poopsalot headed for the privy.
That's me in front of the shelter in picture one. The second picture is the trail. Picture three is a view from mountain top. The last is a fast moving stream. Virginia has had a lot of rain, so rivers and streams are swollen.
The Lindale Mood one room school established in 1894. There was trail magic here, so Amtrak and I helped ourselves to soda and fruit. Cool!
My original intent was to go 15 miles to a tent camp site, but rain was predicted, so I stopped at the Relax Inn for the night. It's not the best motel in Virginia, but it doesn't try to be. For hikers, it's perfect since it's right on the trail. I ended up hiking 11.6 miles for the day and arrived at the motel at 3:00 PM.