Today was full of water. First there was Jones Falls, then the Elk River where I had a quick bath (it’s a new goal of mine to swim in every river), then Mountaineer Falls, then a small waterfall on Upper Laurel Fork, and finally the Hardcore Cascades, although if you ask me they weren’t very hardcore. Plus there were countless streams and springs and footbridges.
We did 17.2 miles today but it was a very relaxing day with fairly level terrain and lots of breaks. One break was at a cemetery where someone in a truck had flattened the chain link fence and dug tire ruts into the grass. I went in to replace some of the flowers that had been run over but didn’t know what else to do. Fortunately, some local people showed up just then to put everything to rights so they must have already known about the damage. People sometimes.
We also passed the 400 mile mark today. I have definitely acquired the hiker hobble. It’s hard to get up and down, and my legs take five to ten minutes to warm up whenever I stop forward momentum for more than three seconds. Until they’re warmed up, my gait is way off. I wondered aloud while cooking dinner how long would it take for one’s legs to go back to normal after the hike and everyone laughed like it was a big joke I thought my legs would ever be regular again.