After leaving Damascus around 7:00 yesterday morning we've found ourselves back in town sooner than expected. We made the 28 mile trip up to Thomas Knob Shelter yesterday and had a fairly easy day up until the last 6 or so miles. The weather turned for the worse and we found ourselves drenched in rain and dodging a thunderstorm. We got to the shelter around 5:30 and changed into dry clothes and were able to call it an early night.
This morning we got going around the same time and set out to go a longer day than we've done before, 35.7 miles to the Partnership Shelter. Partnership is only .1 miles up the trail from the Mt. Rogers Ranger Station where you can use a pay phone to call for pizza. So with pizza on our minds we set out for the day. It was a very gray morning in the Grayson Highlands as the weather hadn't fully burned off and we were in foggy/cloudy weather all morning. We made it to VA16 where the trail branches off to the Hurricane Campground at around 3:30 and could hear the thunder really rolling in strong. We made the decision to not ascend 700 feet to the highest point around called High Point at an elevation of 4040. So we walked over to the side of the road, stuck our thumbs out, and were picked up within minutes by a guy headed home from work. He said he just couldn't leave us out in a storm like that because he saw it really coming down just over the mountain we decided to not climb. Good choice for us!
We are now at Jerry's Trading Post eating dinner and e-mailing. Hopefully the weather will be better in the coming days!