Today is one of those days that is going to be hard to describe, for it was all about the senses… the cold, the wind, the rain, the smells from the rain, the views, and a very cool sense of peace all day long.

While I slept.

While I slept.

Day started off with a little bonus. Opened one eye about a quarter of the way, saw pouring rain outside the window, pressed a button and told Siri to wake me up when it quit raining. She failed, but I popped out of bed with a couple more hours of sleep. I was kind of hoping for this, and got what I hoped for. It meant however that I couldn’t dilly dally as I usually do, I had had to keep pace so as not to get caught in the dark, but there was no problem - knocked out 23 miles in seven hours and forty minutes, and limited myself to 127 pictures today, a little below average. I am realizing that weather is going to be a factor going forward, and I have to plan accordingly. It was easy for the first 9 weeks,,, forecast hot, zero chance of rain, but has now become something I have to check and work around accordingly.

Beautiful walk between Atkins and Wytheville, VA, land of my mom. Started off wet and pretty chilly - had to walk all day with a fleece pullover, and it was drizzling, so backpack had to be covered. It was foggy and misty, and I had a great tailwind, which was gusting all morning, pushing me along quite nicely and definitely noticeable. It was a nice change.

About four hours later, the sky began to open up, either because I outpaced the storm (not likely) or it outpaced me (probably). The ensuing light was incredible; sunlight came and went all day long, and I had a great time watching the sunlight go from hill to hill, field to field. Having rained, the air was very crisp and clear, a perfect afternoon to walk. I’m kinda liking this walking stuff… try it sometime, you might too!

And it was the first time (besides a little stretch in TN) that I was glad I bought the waterproof version of my Salomon’s. Somewhat of a waste I would say, for they really weren’t needed, and probably added a few degrees that contributed to those damn b’s. Today they walked their last mile, about two weeks after they should have quit. They did really well along the way, one million, one hundred and fifty thousand, one hundred and eight two steps, or thereabout, per Fitbit. Good to see, for me at least, a nice even wear pattern on both shoes. That’s important… did I ever tell you I had my knee replaced? That’s why it is important! Regardless, I think I killed ‘em, and am looking forward to rockin’ the blue ones tomorrow, little 9 miler.

The box in which the new ones arrived will be recycled, and used to send the old pair home for the auction, along with the shorts, short socks, and all hot weather stuff. What auction you ask? Well, Christie’s and Sotheby’s are fighting over who’s going to do the official walktothepark memorabilia auction, either in London or New York, but the lot will include said shoes, socks (low and high), the orange Tennessee shirt, which can also be used near UVA with some navy blue, the orange shorts, the crooked hat, of course the evil walking sticks, portable hotel room washing machines, small ziplock with white hair from my haircut, leftover bandaids, used bandaids (eww), and partly used tubes of antibiotic cream, Bet you can’t wait huh? Stay tuned :-)

And a little collection of photos… after the rain, in beautiful Virginia.