Today I started on Highway 210 going just slightly West of Topsail Island. It was slow going as I’m still nursing these nasty tibialis anterior (fancy words for shin splints). They’re getting better every day, but dang it’s annoying.
One of my three fantastic hometown shoe stores, Foot Rx Asheville, sent me 2 pairs of size 14 Hokas and they were a dream. I tried out the Stinson ATRs, which are more trail oriented and the Clifton 4s, which are definitely a road shoe. Both did great. Foot love from home. I couldn’t have done this trip without you.
I was only on Highway 210 for about 2 miles before heading south on Highway 17 going towards Wilmington. The traffic was brutal, but at least there was a shoulder. I’ve discovered that I’m less oblivious to traffic when I’m not full on running.
It’s hard to find that zen-type place when 18 wheeler’s blow your hat off every 10 minutes. To distract myself I looked for the weird or at least out of place scenery. Volkswagen vans with pictures of dogs driving them and 20-foot lighthouse statues that served no apparent purpose seemed to fit the bill.
After 7 miles of playing Frogger, the Mountains to Sea Trail turned off onto the Holly Shelter Game Land and life calmed down. I could get into an easy rhythm and just hike (ish). These state game lands, like all the others I have encountered so far, have sandy hard-packed Jeep trails allowing access to hunters and other outdoorsy-people. For the 2 1/2 hours that I hiked on them today I saw only 3 vehicles and no other humans. Pretty sweet gig.
But going this slow, I’m not keeping my crew very entertained. Dean just started making a game out of kicking rocks until I left. I really have to pick up the pace soon…
We stopped after close to 14 miles of shuffling today to allow for some more recovery time. Better to get back to the RV and see how much more we can do tomorrow. Onward to the bustling metropolis of Watha, North Carolina!