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 the sun/humidity of the afternoon.
Her spirits were lifted with the appearance of her parents who offered supplies and emotional support.
Mercury’s shin splints are almost non-existent now but she will still pace herself with precaution. She runs when she can and she walks when she should.
She decided to do the last 8.6 miles, mostly in the dark, despite thunder/lightning for a considerable way. Jupiter was impressed with her ‘fearlessness’.