June 26th

I stopped tonight at the Knot Maul Branch Shelter. For some reason, I’ve had a hard time keeping my pace since I left Marion, Virginia. I stopped for dinner the second night out at a restaurant called “The Barn” which sits along the Trail, but besides that there aren’t any major landmarks for this section. There are a number of up and down climbs, while not as dramatic as the mountains I’ve passed, they’re still strenuous enough to leave me exhausted at the end of the day. I haven’t been able to update my journal frequently because I don’t reach camp until fairly late in the evening and I fall asleep very quickly.

 

I have been listening to a mix of audio books. First, “The History of the Ancient World” by Susan Wise Bauer. I particularly enjoy the wide scope she takes, examining not just near eastern or Greco-Roman societies, but also the ancient societies of India and China. She follows a fairly narrative structure, feeling like you’re listening to a great story teller interweaving the tales of these ancient societies together. I also have listened to a two part series from the “Hardcore History” podcast examining the Assyrian and Persian empires, which has dovetailed nicely. Both of these were picked up in reaction to the fact that I’ve been in the sections of Kings and Chronicles in my daily Bible reading, so both of these have given some great context and continuity.

 

I also have been listening to “John Dies At the End” by David Wong. This book feels like HP Lovecraft as written by Hunter S Thompson. It’s an odd mix of horror, vulgarity, and drug culture. The flavor of which seems to creep me out far more than standard Lovecraft, simply because it feels more “real.” It’s certainly not an uplifting or encouraging book, but it’s definitely entertaining, and it fits my overall oppressive and frustrated mood, especially late in the day when I feel most exhausted.
I’m fairly certain I’m going hold out for resupply at Trent’s grocery, which is a little more than 45 miles from here, which fits almost exactly the amount of food I have left. There is an option to stop at Bland, Virginia a little sooner than that, but it will be a little more logistically difficult as the town is several miles away from the Trail

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