I knew this last day was going to be a short 6+ mile, downhill day, but with the long seven hour drive back to Columbus, I wanted to finish it quick. Unfortunately, I awoke at 6:30am to the sound of thunder, which dimmed my mood but picked up my pace for packing and getting on the trail.
With everything packed and my pack cover on, I hit the trail at 7:30am. The hike up Hump Mountain was another hump, and unfortunately, socked in with clouds (and some misting precipitation). I am confident these would have been the best views of the trip.
As I headed along Houston Ridge, I was able to get a few views between the clouds. I also came across a young, extremely fit trail runner coming up the mountains. He indicated he was planning on running all the way to Hughes Pass and back to Roan Mountain State Park! 26 miles over probably 8,000′ elevation gain! My feet suddenly didn’t hurt me as much as they did five minutes prior.
The rest of the hike was a lot of downhill and mostly uneventful. There was some indications of civilization, and I ran into several backpackers in different groups heading southbound. The trail gets very steep just after Doll Flats, so I would think that northbound is the prefered approach for this section of the AT!
I ended up back at Mountain Harbour B&B shortly before 11am. I cleaned up a bit in the Hostel and changed clothes. On the road for home by 11:15am, not long before a Wendy’s Baconator to celebrate my trip!