I hiked 7.8 miles. Well, the intent today was to hike to the next shelter at 15 miles, but then I hit Cove mountain where Dragon's Tooth is located. It was an extremely difficult climb, much of it over large boulders that tend to be slippery.
Once at the top, the attraction is Dragon's Tooth. The Dragon’s Tooth is an aptly named rock monolith of Tuscarora quartzite straddling Craig and Roanoke Counties just west of Catawba, VA. After viewing Dragon's Tooth, the climb down began and it proved to be the most difficult decent in 700 miles of hiking the Appalachian Trail. For awhile, I got off the trail when I missed a turn and climbed over rocks before I realized my error. Unfortunately, I went sliding down one boulder and ripped my pants. Once I realized I was off the trail I had a very difficult climb out. The last part was particularly bad. I had to remove my backpack and drop it 10 feet down. Then I climbed over the edge and could only hold on with my fingertips. What a scary ordeal!
Once back on the trail, the rest of the decent was steep, over boulders mostly, and dangerous. The day started at 7:30 AM and finished at 3:00 PM. I wasn't going any further and neither was Creak or Butter with whom I had been hiking.