Day 36 (8/11): START: Notch Rd. 4:02 am FINISH: Stratton-Arlington Rd. 10:35 pm 44.1 miles 18:33 2.4 mph 1,646 total miles 45.7 mpd Nice weather a little warm Jupiter is happy to report that Mercury is ‘back on track’ to finish under fifty days if the weather in the Whites permits her safe passage.
Day 35 (8/10): START: Tyringham Main Road 4 am FINISH: Notch Rd. 11:30 pm 48 miles 19:30 2.5 mph 1,601.9 45.8 mpd Continued nice weather Today was a good day for Mercury. Shin splints are almost gone. Toe blisters getting better due to new shoes with wider toe boxes. Feet soreness still there but lessened.
Day 34 (8/09): START – Iron Bridge Falls Village, CT 3:20 am FINISH – Tyringham (MA) Main Rd. 11:35 pm 48.6 miles 20:15 2.4 mph 1,553.9 total miles 45.7 mpd Nice weather. Mercury had a good, but necessary, day after coming up 7.5 miles short yesterday.
Day 33 (8/08): START: Hoyt Rd. NY/CT stateline 5:50am FINISH: Iron Bridge Falls Village, CT 9:15pm 36.7 miles 15:25 2.4 mph 1,505.3 total miles 45.6 mpd Good weather Mercury’s sore feet finally got a new pair of boots with a bigger toebox. Thank you Peter Wells!
Day 32 (8/07): START: 4 am Old West Point Rd. FINISH: 10:20 pm Hoyt Rd. CT/NY state line 45.6 miles 18:20 2.5 mph 1,468.6 total miles 45.9 mpd Good weather overcast a little drizzle Mercury navigated numerous blowdowns caused by the tropical storm both in the dark (before sunrise/after sunset)
Day 31 (8/06): START: Brady Rd. 4am FINISH: Old West Point Rd. 10:35pm 46.4 miles 18:35 2.5 mph 1,423 total miles 45.9 mpd Nice weather Mercury had a good day considering she had many storm blowdowns to contend with that certainly slowed her pace. Her shin splints continue to improve and her feet are a little
Day 30 (8/05): START: Culvers Gap 4 am FINISH: Brady Rd. 9 pm 41.8 miles 17:00 2.5 mph 1,376.6 total miles 45.9 mpd Nice weather – much branch debris on the trail due yesterday’s tropical storm Mercury finished her ‘200 miles of rocks’ this morning and her sore feet welcome somewhat
Day 29 (8/04): START: PA Rt. 191 4:30 am FINISH: Culvers Gap (NJ) US RT. 206 7:35 pm 35.4 miles 15:05 2.3 mph 1334.8 total miles 46 mpd average Tropical Storm! Wet, windy, and wild! Mercury woke up to rain and walked in torrential rain and high winds (complete w/nearby tornado warnings).
Day 28 (8/03): START: PA Rt. 309 5 am FINISH: PA Rt.191 midnight 42.5 mikes 19:00 2.2 mph 1299.4 total miles 46.4 mpd Nice day for hiking Mercury negotiated some treacherous rocky sections today being cautious. She was slowed more by blisters and sore feet due to all the rocks in the trail.
Day 27 (8/02): START: PA Rt. 501 4 am FINISH: PA Rt. 309 10:45 pm 50.4 miles 18:45 2.7 mph 1,256.9 total miles 46.5 mpd Even with two fierce, torrential thunderstorms, Mercury was able to do her first 50+ mile day today in eleven days. She had hiking companions for her early morning/morning
Day 26 (8/01): START: North side Susquehanna River 4:30 am FINISH: Rt. 501 9:15 pm 44.6 miles 16:45 2.7 mph 1,201.5 total miles 46.2 mpd Mercury flowed out of July into August by starting at the southern edge of the last Ice Age and moving northward under the many rocks left by its retreat
Note at this point the FKT is off the table, but Mercury is continuing on and putting in pretty big daily miles, and can certainly get the NoBo FKT. It seems like they might be pushing for sub-50 days.
Day 25 (7/31): START: Pine Grove Furnace State Park 4 am FINISH: North side Susquehanna River 9:15 pm 47 miles 17:15 2.7 mph 1,156.9 total miles 46.3 miles per day average Overcast morning not as hot afternoon/evening Again, not wanting to reinjure her left shin, Mercury walked most of the day
Day 24 (7/30): START: Warner Gap Rd. 3:55 am FINISH; Pine Grove Furnace SP 7:50 pm 44.2 miles 15:55 2.8 mpd 1,104.9 total miles 46 mpd Hot humid no rain Following a good night’s sleep, Mercury headed out at 3:55 pm and crossed the Mason-Dixon line into PA at 6:45 am. Six states down
Day 23 (7/29): START: Keys Gap WV Rt.9 4:28 am FINISH: Warner Gap Road 7:45 pm 40.5 miles 15:17 2.6 mph 1,060.7 total miles 46.1 mpd Hot humid no rain but not many bugs Although the miles might not show it, today was a good day for Mercury.
Day 22 (7/28): START: VA 602 4:15 am FINISH: WV Rt. 9 Keys Gap 12:15 am 49.1 miles 20:00 2.5mph 1,020.2 total miles 46.4 mpd Warm, humid, but no rain Mercury put in a long day at the office. She had a pleasant hiking companion for most of the day and for the evening walk.
Day 21 (7/27): START: Thornton Gap SNP 4:15am FINISH: VA 602 4:35pm 26.3 miles 12:20 2.1 mph 971.1 total miles 46.2 mpd 68.6 miles behind Jennifer 49.9 miles behind Stringbean Hot but no rain finally Second straight day of ‘recovery’ mode rather than ‘record’ mode. Left shin is still preventing Mercury from running.
Day 20 (7/26): START: Hawksbill Gap 4 am FINISH: Thornton Gap 11:15 am 12.8 miles 7:15 1.8 mph 944.8 miles 47.2 mpd 42.4 miles behind Jennifer 32.6 miles behind Stringbean Willing heart and mind vs. unwilling body The latter won today. The possibility of a new woman’s AT endurance record will be objectively determined by the trail tomorrow.
Day 19 (7/25): START: Loft Mountain CG 4:40 am FINISH: Hawksbill Gap 8:30 pm 39.2 miles 15:50 2.5mph Warm thunderstorm 932 total miles 6.5 miles behind Jennifer 6.5 miles ahead of Stringbean Joined by some more folks again trying to offer support/encouragement to our ‘damsel in some distress’. Persistent/painful left shin splint pain is slowing her down.
Day 18 (7/24): START: Reids Gap 3:57am FINISH: Loft Mt. CG SNP 11:20pm 47.2 miles 19:23 2.4 mph 892.8 total miles 49.6 mpd 6.7 miles ahead of Jennifer 21.8 miles ahead of Stringbean A little warm but no rain – but wet grass.
Day 17 (7/23): START: Punchbowl Crossing 4:35am FINISH: Reids Gap 11:30pm 47.4 miles 17:55 2.4 mph Hot / Thunderstorms 845.6 total miles 49.7 mpd 6.3 miles ahead of Jennifer 23.5 miles ahead of Stringbean Wet feet make for blisters – not too bad, but we have to spend ten minutes each morning dressing them.
Day 16 (7/22): START: Black Horse Gap (BRP) 5:05am FINISH: Punchbowl Crossing (BRP) midnight 54.1 miles 18:55 2.9 mph 798.2 total miles 49.8 mpd 11.8 miles in front of JPD 23.3 miles ahead of Stringbean Strong Thunderstorms – late afternoon/evening After getting in late after a long hot day, Mercury departs for ‘work’ at her latest time – 5:05pm. It is a beautiful post-thunderstorm morning as the trail crisscrosses the Blue Ridge Parkway with stunning sunrise views that Mercury can enjoy on her northward flow.
Day 15 (7/21): START: Craig Creek VA621 4am FINISH: Black Horse Gap BRP97.7 12:10am 54.8 miles 20:10 2.7mph Total miles – 743.4 49.5 mpd Hot with two thunderstorms (nearby Roanoke got to 100 degrees yesterday for the first time in eight years). Mercury flowed with the heat over Dragon’s Tooth, through sweltering unshaded fields
Day 14 (7/20): START: 4:05am Clendennin Rd VA641 FINISH: 10pm Craig Creek VA 621 47.2 miles 17:55 2.6mph 688.6 total miles 49.2 mpd Continued warm, sunny weather. Mercury had much overgrowth to go through today slowing her down since she couldn’t see the footway (i.e. rocks /roots)
Day 13 (7/19): START: 4am Kimberling Creek FINISH: 9:15pm Clendennin Rd. 48.8 miles 17:15 2.8 mph Warm weather 641.4 total miles 49.3 mpd For the most part, this was a smooth, efficient day of biped movement through the mountains. Fortunately, Mercury’s concern about the condition of her stubbed/tripped foot from the evening before was not realized. She still walked most of the day but was able to run more sections so she was able to have a long-anticipated ‘normal’ office day of 17-18 hours while doing the required daily miles to set a record.
Day 12 (7/18): START: 4am VA615 (one-room schoolhouse) FINISH: 10:30pm Kimberling Creek 49.7 miles 18:30 2.7 mph 590.9 total miles 49.2 mpd average Weather – warm and humid Day started out with wet tall grass and then intestinal distress due to something Mercury ate.
Day 11 (7/17): START: Beech Mountain Rd. 4:14am FINISH: VA 615 10:50 pm 53.8 miles 2.9 mph 541.2 total miles 49.2 mpd average After a second night of shower/sleep at the Appalachian Folk School (45 minute drive from trail), Mercury flowed over Whitetop/Mt. Rogers/Grayson Highlands under overcast skies in the morning but then had to contend with heat & humidity in the afternoon.
Day 10 (7/16): START: Wilbur Dam Rd. 4:14am FINISH: VA 601 (Beech Mt. Rd.) 10:20pm 56 miles 18:06 2.8 mph 487.4 total miles 48.7 mpd The ‘extra’ sleep seemed to help. Mercury ran for the first time in about seven days and walked without a hiking pole. This was her best day since day 2.