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Day 40: Trail Legs; Not quite yet

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Started the day off with a good climb. It was 6 miles uphill from Sams Gap to the top of Big Bald Mountain. It was mostly nice and gradual and made good time. It was a beautiful open view from up top. I had a big day planned. 18 miles total to get to No Business Knob Shelter. After getting over Big Bald Mountain it was mostly downhill to the shelter, so I thought it was doable. However, after several miles of steep decent my left knee started to hurt a little. My right knee is what hurt before and I had that knee taped up, so it was good. My left knee didnít hurt that bad yet, but I could feel the fluid building up behind my left knee cap just like my right knee had. I was approaching Spivey Gap when I decided to go into Erwin. There were no shelters or designated campsite between me and the shelter (still 5 miles away downhill) and I still donít have the confidence to stealth camp by myself. When I got to the gap there was a women waiting to pick up her husband and she agreed to take to me to the hotel my friends were staying at. They say the trail provides, so I took it as a sign and took the ride. My plan is to return to the gap tomorrow and slack pack the remaining 11 miles into town and have both knees taped up.
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