I just got to Roan Mountain, NC early this morning where my parents and brother Josh and cousin Casey were waiting for me. I'm taking a couple days off to hang out with them in Boone, NC then Nicole (my girlfriend) arrives on Sunday to hike with me for a view days! The past week has been pretty great, except for the rain and thunderstorms. The trail has been pretty rough going, very wet and soggy. Over the past week I get soaked to the bone in the morning then the sun usually dries me out by afternoon. I've got stuck on a couple balds and high ridges during some storms and it is no fun. Aside from the strong, bitter cold winds I was pretty nervous being so exposed to the elements. Its pretty amazing how fast the weather can change out here.
I stayed in Hot Springs, NC last weekend and actually made in time to the French Broad River Music Festival. I did about 45 miles in 2 days but I made it in time for the last night of the festival - awesome time. I've met a lot of great people so far and am looking forward to seeing everyone again in Damascus,VA next weekend for Trail Days. I've hit some big mental marks in the past week too. I past the 300 mile mark, had my two longest days at 27 and 26 miles, back to back, and next week I'll be in VA! My legs and ankles are feeling great but I plan to take my time getting to Damascus, VA...well, I may decide to partake in one of the many AT challenges. The next one coming up is about a 30 mile hike from Vandeventer Shelter, TN to Damascus, VA in one day.
I've had some people ask about my trail name 'Rocket' so here it is...I started the trail sick and was pretty congested. Instead of constantly blowing my nose in my handkerchief I would blow snot rockets. After my cold went away mountain allergies hit me and so I again was constantly dealing with a runny nose and so came my name, given to me by my friend Transition.