May 17: Damascus, VA (for the big party :-)) (mile 525)

after a nice easy stroll up to Atkins, VA, through some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable, i’m back in Damascus to party and eat for a few days. after i’m fattened up a bit, i’ll get a ride 75 miles up the trail and resume where i left off. apparently Atkins is a popular spot to stop for the Trail Days break, so i expect a big crowd there when i return (probably on sunday, but we’ll see). i’m meeting a bunch of the folks i haven’t seen for a while. it’s nice to see how other peoples' hikes are going, but it is also kind of sad to hear about all the people who have dropped out :-(. historically, almost half of the people who attempt a thruhike drop out by this point. i suspect the number is more like 25% this year, but still… 25% is a lot of people. for those of you who have asked about a trail name: stay tuned, i might have one soon. a few of the folks have vowed that i will have a trail name before the sunday. also, i sent some film home to my father and he said the pictures turned out rather nicely. i’ll see what i can do to get some of them uploaded. …more later. the library is fussy about people sitting at the computers for too long :-).